US Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Washington D.C (VNA) – US Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter reasserted the US’s “rebalance” to the Asia-Pacific region will continue in the next US administration while chairing an informal meeting of ASEAN and US defence ministers in Hawaii on September 30.

Addressing the event, Carter said the “Rebalance”, or “Pivot”, is a pillar in President Barack Obama’s foreign policy, with a focus turned away from the Middle East and to the Asia-Pacific region.

He delivered his country’s pledge to continue stepping up cooperation to tackle common security challenges in the region, including the returns of hundreds of jihadists from Iraq and Syria.

One of the major challenges is China’s operation in the East Sea, he added.

Carter is expected to have separate meetings with all ASEAN defence ministers, including Defence Minister of the Philippines Delfin Lorenzana.-VNA