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Kerry presses Asia on democracy, human rights

US Secretary of State John Kerry waves farewell after attending meetings in Sydney, Australia, on August 13, 2014US Secretary of State John Kerry urged China and other Asian countries to bolster democracy and human rights in a region at the top of America’s agenda. The top US diplomat spoke during a stop in Hawaii that concluded a global tour through Afghanistan, Australia, Myanmar and the Solomon Islands as part of the US administration’s “rebalance” to Asia. Washington is focused on four major issues in Asia: economic growth, energy revolution and climate change, regional security cooperation and improved civil engagement. On democracy and human rights, Kerry acknowledged “bright spots,” but also pointed to “backsliding” in places like Thailand, where the army seized power in May.

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