Foreign Policy Blogs

Clinton Aborts Trip to Asia, Heads Home to Coordinate Relief Effort

In light of the tragic earthquake in Haiti, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is cutting her trip to Asia short.

This is a prudent decision, as the relief effort will require high-level coordination across agencies and in tandem with nations from across the globe. There is indeed much work to be done at the State Department, and Clinton’s return is the only sensible course of action.

A number of East Asian nations have joined in this effort, with pledges of financial aid coming from Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, South Korea, and China (which has also dispatched a search and rescue team despite maintaining no formal diplomatic ties with Haiti) .

You can help too. Donate money to to Partners in Health Haiti relief effort here.

Clinton’s abrupt departure comes at a time when many have their eyes peeled to monitor the State Department’s tack in a region with a lot of policy questions marks, especially in in light of the much-discussed Google-China showdown. However, her aborted trip to the region was not entirely without fruit. Clinton delivered a speech in Hawaii yesterday that nicely articulates the challenges and prospects facing Asian regionalism and America’s role in the process. It can be accessed here.



David Fedman

David Fedman is a PhD student in the History Department of Stanford University where he focuses on modern Japanese and Korean history. He lives in San Francisco, California.