Jeffrey Bleich, Former Ambassador, Australia
Joe Epstein, Past Board President, Commonwealth Club Board of Governors - Moderator
In the next 20 years, the middle class in Asia is projected to swell from 600 million to 3.2 billion. If managed successfully, this could not be merely the single largest reduction in poverty in human history, but it could also substantially improve the fortunes of many non-Asian nations, especially the United States. How the U.S. manages its alliance with Australia and leverages that relationship with other allies and partners in Southeast Asia are critical elements of ensuring a successful Indo-Pacific century. Ambassador Bleich will discuss the planning of America’s economic, diplomatic and security rebalance to Asia, its progress to date and the challenges that will ultimately determine whether Asia rises peacefully and successfully or whether it fails to meet its promise – or worse.