Comparative Connections v.14 n.3 - US-Southeast Asia

  • High-Level Attention
    Jan 14, 2013

    The importance of Southeast Asia in the US “rebalance” to Asia was underscored by President Obama’s visit to Thailand, Burma (Myanmar), and Cambodia, covering both bilateral relations and the region’s centrality in Asian multilateralism. Secretaries Clinton and Panetta also spent time in the region. At the East Asia Summit, the majority of ASEAN states, Japan, and the US insisted that the territorial disputes in the South China Sea appear on the agenda despite objections from Cambodia and China. Obama’s visit to Myanmar occasioned the declaration of a “US-Burma partnership,” though the visit was marred by violence against the Rohingya. Washington is also enhancing military ties with the Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia as part of the “rebalance.”