Generally, U.S. interests are those things the U.S. considers important to its vitality and continued well-being. U.S. interests fall into two primary categories; security interests, and economic interests.
Specific to U.S. interests in east Asia, James Przystup of National Defense University offers the following:
Taking into consideration the nearly 225-year history of U.S. engagement with East Asia, this essay defines U.S. interests as the following: ■ Defense of the homeland and U.S. territories and protection of U.S. citizens. Today, U.S. forces are engaged across the Asia-Pacific region dealing with terrorist threats to the United States and its citizens. ■ Access to regional markets. The United States has supported efforts in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum to open and secure market access and has promoted efforts to expand trade by creating an Asia-Pacific Free Trade Area and by signing free trade agreements with Australia, Singapore, and South Korea. The U.S. Navy, operating from the West Coast, Hawaii, and bases in Japan and through access agreements with Singapore and other Southeast Asian countries, is positioned to assure freedom of the seas. ■ Maintenance of a balance of power to prevent the rise of any hegemon or group of powers that would impede U.S. political and economic access to the region. The system of bilateral U.S. alliances with Japan, the Republic of Korea (ROK), Australia, the Philippines, and Thailand maintains a stable balance of power in the Asia-Pacific region. ■ Preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and ballistic missile delivery systems. The United States, along with China, the ROK, Japan, Russia, and North Korea, is engaged in the Six-Party Talks aimed at the denuclearization of North Korea. At the same time, the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) enjoys broad support across the region. ■ The promotion of democracy and human rights. For successive U.S....
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