Kerry finalizing plans for new Asia visit
US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks at the State Department on February 5, 2014 in Washington, DC - by Mandel Ngan
Although no dates have yet been released, the US top diplomat revealed at the weekend that he planned to return to China in the coming weeks.
In a tweet on Tuesday, Kerry said he had just met with Assistant Secretary for Asia Danny Russel and climate chief Todd Stern before his upcoming trip as climate change will be "a major theme."
It will be Kerry's fourth trip to Asia as the US administration seeks to "rebalance" towards the region, but State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki had no dates to announce saying only that "planning is ongoing."
She acknowledged however global warming would be one of the issues on the agenda.
"In order to address global climate change, we need to have the largest contributors and emitters, including the United States, including China, take steps to address" it, Psaki added.
The trip will also come amid rising tensions over territorial disputes in the South China Sea and the East China Sea between Beijing, Seoul and Tokyo.
Psaki said "maritime security will be, of course, a part of the discussion" during Kerry's trip, along with the "threat of North Korea and steps that he feels, we all feel, are necessary to take."
It will be Kerry's second trip to Beijing since coming to office in February 2013. He last visited the Chinese capital in April, on a trip which also took him to Japan and Seoul.
He also went to Indonesia in October as well as Brunei and Malaysia. And in December he returned to Vietnam, where he fought during the war, and toured Tacloban in the Philippines after it was devastated by a typhoon.
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