So far, much of the discussion of China’s air-defense identification zone (ADIZ), a new law requiring foreign aircraft to notify China when they fly over a designated region in the East China Sea, has centered on Beijing’s motivations: What is China trying to accomplish by instituting the zone? And, considering that it triggered immediate opposition from the United States and Japan, was this decision a mistake?
These are important questions, but it’s worth zooming out and considering the more fundamental causes for tension in Northeast Asia. Here, the issues become more complex. Is China’s aggression caused by a new president trying to establish his legitimacy? Or is it, instead, an attempt to capitalize on domestic anti-Japanese sentiment? Does the conflict reflect how pre-World War II history continues to shape contemporary East Asian relations? Or is it a scramble for the rich energy resources that supposedly lie inside the disputed waters?
The answer to each of these questions is, unhelpfully, yes. And that’s what makes the present conflict in Northeast Asia so difficult to resolve.
Read more. [Image: Toru Hanai/Reuters]
President Obama Presidential Proclamation — World AIDS Day, 2013
WORLD AIDS DAY, 2013
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BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Each year on World AIDS Day, we come together as a global community to fight a devastating pandemic. We remember the friends and loved ones we have lost, stand with the estimated 35 million people living with HIV/AIDS, and renew our commitment to preventing the spread of this virus at home and abroad. If we channel our energy and compassion into science-based results, an AIDS-free generation is within our reach.
My Administration released the first comprehensive National HIV/AIDS Strategy in 2010. Since then, we have made significant progress in strengthening scientific investments, expanding effective HIV/AIDS education and prevention, and connecting stakeholders in both the public and private sectors. At the same time, advances in our scientific understanding have allowed us to better fight this disease. We know now that by focusing on early detection and treatment, we can both prevent long-term complications and reduce transmission rates. To build on this progress, I issued an Executive Order in July establishing the HIV Care Continuum Initiative, which addresses the gaps in care and prevention, especially among communities with the greatest HIV burden. And this November, I signed the HIV Organ Policy Equity Act, lifting the ban on research into the possibility of organ transplants between people with HIV.
My Administration remains committed to reducing the stigma and disparities that fuel this epidemic. Beginning in 2014, the Affordable Care Act will require health insurance plans to cover HIV testing without any additional out-of-pocket costs. It will also prohibit discrimination based on HIV status and eliminate annual benefit caps. Under this law, we have already expanded Medicaid for working class Americans and banned lifetime limits on insurance coverage.
Our work to end HIV extends far beyond our borders. This is a global fight, and America continues to lead. The United States has provided HIV prevention, treatment, and care to millions around the world, helping to dramatically reduce new infections and AIDS-related deaths. This year we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), a powerful bipartisan effort to turn the tide on this epidemic. Through PEPFAR, we are making strong global progress and are on track to achieve the ambitious HIV treatment and prevention targets I set on World AIDS Day in 2011. Because country ownership and shared responsibility are vital to a2 strong and sustained global response, we launched PEPFAR Country Health Partnerships, an initiative that will empower our partner countries as they progress toward an AIDS-free generation. In the next few days, my Administration will host the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria’s Replenishment Conference to enlist new partners, leverage American funding, and increase our collective impact against these diseases. With continued United States leadership, strong partners, and shared responsibility, we can realize this historic opportunity.
We will win this battle, but it is not over yet. In memory of the loved ones we have lost and on behalf of our family members, friends, and fellow citizens of the world battling HIV/AIDS, we resolve to carry on the fight and end stigma and discrimination toward people living with this disease. At this pivotal moment, let us work together to bring this pandemic to an end.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States do hereby proclaim December 1, 2013, as World AIDS Day. I urge the Governors of the States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, officials of the other territories subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, and the American people to join me in appropriate activities to remember those who have lost their lives to AIDS and to provide support and comfort to those living with this disease.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-seventh day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.
Statement by the Press Secretary on President Obama ’s Travel to Russia
Following a careful review begun in July, we have reached the conclusion that there is not enough recent progress in our bilateral agenda with Russia to hold a U.S.-Russia Summit in early September. We value the achievements made with Russia in the President’s first term, including the New START Treaty, and cooperation on Afghanistan, Iran, and North Korea. However, given our lack of progress on issues such as missile defense and arms control, trade and commercial relations, global security issues, and human rights and civil society in the last twelve months, we have informed the Russian Government that we believe it would be more constructive to postpone the summit until we have more results from our shared agenda. Russia’s disappointing decision to grant Edward Snowden temporary asylum was also a factor that we considered in assessing the current state of our bilateral relationship. Our cooperation on these issues remains a priority for the United States, so on Friday, August 9, Secretaries Hagel and Kerry will meet with their Russian counterparts in a 2+2 format in Washington to discuss how we can best make progress moving forward on the full range of issues in our bilateral relationship.
The President still looks forward to traveling to St. Petersburg on September 5-6 to attend the G-20 Summit.