Sign up | Log in



Home  >>   Daily News  >>   Asean News  >>   Politics  >>   Obama's Asean trip, next step in ‘Strategic Rebalancing’
NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs    17 November 2012 

Obama's Asean trip, next step in ‘Strategic Rebalancing’


President Barack Obama's upcoming trip to Southeast Asia marks the beginning of a new phase in the United States' strategic "pivot" towards the Asia-Pacific, senior administration officials said yesterday.

This will mean increased efforts to strengthen alliances, deepen engagement with regional institutions and promote democracy and human rights - elements which will feature prominently in Obama's visit to Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia beginning Sunday.

"It is telling that Asia will be the first trip that the President makes since his re-election (last week)," US National Security Adviser Tom Donilon told a forum here on Thursday.

"It sends a powerful statement that the Asia-Pacific will continue to be a strategic priority in his second term, as it was in his first term."

The Obama administration began its outreach to the region within weeks of assuming power in 2009, dispatching top diplomat Hillary Clinton to Asia on her inaugural trip. But the pivot, or "strategic rebalancing" towards the region as most officials prefer to call it, was not formally introduced until late last year.

The region welcomed Washington's decision to shift resources and attention away from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan towards the Asia-Pacific, but was unsure if the nascent policy would survive the presidential election.

Obama won a second term last Tuesday after defeating his Republican rival Mitt Romney, and looks set to make his Asia policy a major part of his legacy.

One of Obama's top foreign policy advisers, Ben Rhodes, said in a conference call on Thursday: "Continuing to fill in our pivot to Asia will be a critical part of the President's second term and, ultimately, his foreign policy legacy.

"We see this as an opportunity to dramatically increase US exports, to increase US leadership in the fastest-growing part of the world and in advancing our values and interests, which this trip is designed to do."

In Thailand, where Obama begins his fifth visit to Asia in four years, the President aims to shore up ties with America's oldest ally in South-east Asia. He will have an audience with the Thai King and hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

In Myanmar, US officials said Obama is looking to further encourage the political reforms which have swept the Southeast Asian country since last year. He will also hold meetings with President Thein Sein as well as opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

He will cap his visit in Cambodia, where he will hold talks with Asean leaders and attend the annual East Asia Summit (EAS) which Phnom Penh is hosting this year. He will meet outgoing Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.

The decision to commit to the EAS meetings came after some debate in the White House, said Donilon, adding: "We reached the decision this way: You are either all in or you're not with respect to this strategy. And the President said the United States is all in.

"You can either look at these institutions and wait for them to perfect themselves, or you can participate on the ground and help these institutions achieve (their) goals."

There have been criticisms, however, that the US pivot strategy and its renewed engagement in the region are aimed at keeping China in check. Senior US officials refuted those assertions yesterday, maintaining that its broad interests in the region go beyond areas of competition with China.

"US policy in Asia is about US interests. It's not about China," said Danny Russel, senior director for Asia at the National Security Council.

"Our objective is to shape the environment in the Asia-Pacific region in which the peaceful rise of important countries, including China, contributes to the common good, is fundamentally stabilising and not destabilising, and in which every party can contribute to the work at hand."

Reach Southeast Asia!
10- Nations, 560- Million Consumers
And $1 -Trillion Market
We are the Voice of Southeast Asia Media Kit
The only Media Dedicated to Southeast Asia Advertising Rates for Magazine
  Online Ad Rates

Comment on this Article. Send them to

Letters that do not contain full contact information cannot be published.
Letters become the property of AseanAffairs and may be republished in any format.
They typically run 150 words or less and may be edited
submit your comment in the box below

Today's  Stories    17 November 2012   Subsribe Now !
• Obama's Asean trip, next step in ‘Strategic Rebalancing’   Subcribe: Asean Affairs Global Magazine
• Thai-US Defence alliance to support ‘enduring US presence' in region Asean Affairs Premium
• China hopes Obama’s Asean trip will be ‘positive’
Research Reports
on Thailand 2007-2008

•Textiles and Garments Industry

•Coffee industry

•Leather and footwear industry

•Shrimp industry

• Cambodia’s PM opens Asean Summit
• Philippines to call for common stand on territorial disputes at Asean Summit  
• Asean plus Six likely to form world’s largest economic bloc
• Asean needs to connect with the world, says Cambodian prince  
• ASEAN Arrivals Increasingly Chinese  
• IMF Chief, Lagarde visits Asean countries  
• Suu Kyi says, she feels partly a citizen of India  
• Laos-China railways to be completed by 2018  
Asean Analysis              17 November 2012
Advertise Your Brand
• Asean Analysis- November 17, 2012  
• Asean Weekly-  November 9, 2012 Sponsor Our Events

Asean Stock Watch     16 November 2012 

• Asean Stock Watch- November 16, 2012

ASEAN NEWS UPDATES      Updated: 04 January 2011

 • Women Shariah scholars see gender gap closing
• Bank Indonesia may hold key rate as inflation hits 7 percent

• Bursa Malaysia to revamp business rules
• Private property prices hit new high in Singapore • Bangkok moves on mass transport
• Thai retailers are upbeat
• Rice exports likely to decline • Vietnamese PM projects 10-year socioeconomic plan


This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






1.  Verifier

1. Verifier

For security purposes, we ask that you enter the security code that is shown in the graphic. Please enter the code exactly as it is shown in the graphic.
Your Code
Enter Code

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Special Feature | Features | News | Magazine | Events | TV | Press Release | Advertise With us

| Terms of Use | Site Map | Privacy Policy  | DISCLAIMER |

Version 5.0
Copyright © 2006-2020 TIME INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT ENTERPRISES CO., LTD. All rights reserved.
Bangkok, Thailand