At a Public Affairs Roundtable jointly organized with the Harvard Leadership Trek and Sunway Education Group held at the Malaysian American Commission on Educational Exchange (MACEE), Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) Edgard Kagan articulated U.S. “Rebalance” policy toward Asia. Addressing seventy Malaysian and international participants, including about forty Harvard post-graduate scholars, the DCM cogently discussed U.S. policy which changed from a historical focus on North East Asia toward a current focus on Southeast Asia and ASEAN, especially characterized by President Obama’s participation at the East Asian Summits and the ASEAN Regional Forums. He outlined how the U.S. is escalating its engagement militarily, economically (TPP-Transpacific Pacific Partnership) and culturally (people-to-people relations) with Malaysia and the region.
The DCM stressed that the U.S. is encouraged by Malaysia and the region’s recognition of and combat against the dangers of the Islamic State and radicalism. He concluded the Roundtable discussion with optimistism that Malaysia and the region would prosper significantly because its rising educated classes will harness technology to further reduce poverty and enhance the region’s political and economic dynamism, all of which also serves U.S. interests.