Daniel (Danny) Russel is US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, which means he is the State Department's senior Asia diplomat (he succeeded Kurt Campbell in the role).

Russel traveled with his boss John Kerry to Jakarta early this week and then made a quick visit to Australia. He stopped by the Lowy Institute on his way to Canberra, and was kind enough to answer a few of my questions, not only about the rebalance but about China's recent naval exercise.

My thanks to the US Consulate in Sydney for helping to make this happen, and to Nirupam for putting the video together.