Caroline Kennedy had already held the post of ambassador to Japan between 2013 and 2017, during Obama’s leadership, and supported Joe Biden in the race for the US presidency.
The President of the United States of America, Joe Biden, has named Caroline Kennedy, daughter of former President John F. Kennedy, as US ambassador to Australia.
After supporting Joe Biden’s campaign in the presidential election, and having served, according to The Guardian, as a US ambassador to Japan between 2013 and 2017 — during the term of Barack Obama — the current president was expected to nominate her to a new position of diplomatic representation.
“I look forward to collaborating with the Australian government to strengthen our alliance, improve global health and increase access to vaccines during this terrible pandemic, as well as take action on climate change. I look forward to meeting the Australian people, learning more about the fascinating country, and sharing with them what I like most about the United States of America”, said Caroline Kennedy, quoted in a statement.
As a diplomat in Japan, the former president’s daughter was the first woman to hold the position of ambassador in that country. Last November, the diplomat was awarded the Grand Cordon of the Rising Sun, the highest possible honor for a foreigner in the far eastern country. In 2017, she founded the International Poetry Sharing Project, which brings together students from Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, and the Bronx, New York neighborhood.
[Caroline Kennedy] has spurred great strides in realigning US forces in Okinawa, promoted women’s empowerment in Japan, and increased student exchanges between the United States and Japan,” read the note shared by the White House.
Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne praised Kennedy’s nomination, which, if confirmed by the Senate, “will lead to closer ties with Washington and a greater understanding of the Indo-Pacific region.”
The minister also stressed that the alliance between Australia and the United States “has never been so central to the interests of both nations”.
The leader of the Australian opposition, Anthony Albanese, also welcomed the appointment of the US diplomat, and highlighted the points of convergence between his party and Biden’s goals. “We have a lot of work to do in the future – and work on climate change, on which President Joe Biden shares a vision similar to mine,” said Anthony Albanese.
Marise Payne and Antony Blinken – US Secretary of State – had already reached an understanding on “the importance of having a Senate-confirmed ambassador stationed in Canberra [Australia’s capital] as soon as possible, in light of the recent challenges that the two countries share ”.
The obstacles Kennedy will face in Australia are similar to those in Japan, but the region is currently facing a climate of greater tension.
With the security pact signed between the US, the UK and Australia in September, which agreed the acquisition by the Australian executive of at least eight nuclear submarines, Caroline Kennedy assumes a vital role in the connection between the two countries.
The diplomacy position occupied by Kennedy in Japan was, according to ABC, performed on the basis of soft politics, which became Kennedy’s specialty. However, the current tensions between China and other countries in the Indo-Pacific region may require the diplomat to resort to more direct negotiations, at a time when the administration of Joe Biden directly addresses “bullying”, “intimidation”, “ coercion” and “assault on fundamental values” by Beijing in relation to territories like Hong Kong, Xinjiang, with a confrontational foreign policy towards countries like Taiwan, Japan, and Australia.
For Kennedy, this dichotomy between the support of the nations of that region for the United States of America, and the reinforcement of Chinese influence, should not be the only option on the table. “The countries in Asia that are economically and geographically close to China do not want to be forced to choose”, considered the diplomat, in a video made for Tufts University (State of Massachusetts) .
I’m very impressed with what the current administration has been doing, and I think the goal will be to strengthen our partners and allies, but I think people have a lot of doubts about whether that’s the right approach at the moment,” he added.
In addition to Caroline Kennedy, according to CNN, Michelle Kwan, the greatest figure skater in US history, was named by Joe Biden as the US ambassador to Belize, a country in the Caribbean region. Michelle Kwan has served, in recent years, as a diplomat for matters relating to the youth portfolio.
Source: With Agencies