EXECUTIVE LECTURE FORUM: Activities: 2001: Abstract: Fingar

June 28, 2001Mr. Thomas Fingar

Mr. Thomas Fingar, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, U.S. Department of State.

In his excellent lecture, Deputy Principal Assistant Secretary of State, Dr. Thomas Fingar, outlined the Bush Administration’s foreign policy principles and its external challenges in East Asia. These principles, he said, sometimes require different attitudes, approaches, and flexibility on different issues. This complex diplomacy somehow, in the end, is producing net benefit.

Speaking about the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and, India, Fingar pointed out that these two fast rising powers aspires increasingly greater roles in Asia, and the U.S. interest is to integrate them into the international system. The relationships between the PRC and Taiwan constitute one of the potential incendiary areas, and the U.S. has to deal with this difficult issue. Fingar spoke at great length about Japan. He remarked that one of our major objectives is to preserve Japanese confidence in the United States.

As far as North Korea is concerned, our speaker was of the opinion that there is a real chance of accommodation between North and South Korea, and there is hope that the U.S. and North Korea would end their state of hostility.

Vietnam is obviously a missing piece of the puzzle, said our speaker. Indonesia, however, is the biggest wild card.  It is fragile and could fall apart.

Dr. Fingar closed his well-received briefing by saying that the Russian Far East is still oriented to Moscow and Europe, not to regions is located. Thus, it does not pose a military threat, but its arms sale to China are cause of concern.

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