Obama puts focus on emerging Asia

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Newly re-elected US president Barack Obama is steering the focus of his second term towards Asia. From November 17 to 20, the president will embark on a round trip to Southeast Asia including Myanmar, Cambodia and Thailand.

The White House confirmed details of his first trip in his second period on November 8.

Obama is expected to land in Bangkok on November 18 and meet with Thailand Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on the first leg of his trip. Thailand is the oldest US ally in Southeast Asia, and the visit will be in the light of 180 years of diplomatic relations and to “reaffirm the strength of the US-Thai alliance,” the White House said.

The US and Thailand will hold their annual joint-military exercise, Cobra Gold, next year for the first time with observers from Myanmar, a symbolic act that obviously is also a message to China that the US is going to enforce their presence in the region.

On November 19, Obama will be in Myanmar. The visit to the newly opened country, the first by an acting US president, will give Obama a chance to hold talks with President Thein Sein and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to encourage the country’s “ongoing democratic transition,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

The anchor of the visit will be the 21st ASEAN Summit and 7th East Asia Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where he is expected later on November 19 and will hold talks with Asian leaders on November 20.

“During his interactions in the region he will discuss a broad range of issues including economic prosperity and job creation through increased trade and partnerships, energy and security cooperation, human rights, shared values and other issues of regional and global concern,” Carney said.

Economically, the three-nation Asia trip by Obama is part of his effort to refocus in the most “rapidly growing and dynamic” region of the world, the White House said.

Under the Obama administration, the US has made a major shift towards Asia and the Asia-Pacific region in general, which has been articulated by him and his officials several times in previous years.

“For the US, this reflects a broader shift. After a decade in which we fought two wars that cost us dearly, in blood and treasure, the US is turning its attention to the vast potential of the Asia-Pacific region,” Obama said during his trip to Australia last November.

“Here, we see the future. As the world’s fastest-growing region — and home to more than half the global economy — the Asia-Pacific region is critical to achieving my highest priority, and that’s creating jobs and opportunity for the American people,” the president said.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Newly re-elected US president Barack Obama is steering the focus of his second term towards Asia. From November 17 to 20, the president will embark on a round trip to Southeast Asia including Myanmar, Cambodia and Thailand.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Newly re-elected US president Barack Obama is steering the focus of his second term towards Asia. From November 17 to 20, the president will embark on a round trip to Southeast Asia including Myanmar, Cambodia and Thailand.

The White House confirmed details of his first trip in his second period on November 8.

Obama is expected to land in Bangkok on November 18 and meet with Thailand Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on the first leg of his trip. Thailand is the oldest US ally in Southeast Asia, and the visit will be in the light of 180 years of diplomatic relations and to “reaffirm the strength of the US-Thai alliance,” the White House said.

The US and Thailand will hold their annual joint-military exercise, Cobra Gold, next year for the first time with observers from Myanmar, a symbolic act that obviously is also a message to China that the US is going to enforce their presence in the region.

On November 19, Obama will be in Myanmar. The visit to the newly opened country, the first by an acting US president, will give Obama a chance to hold talks with President Thein Sein and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to encourage the country’s “ongoing democratic transition,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

The anchor of the visit will be the 21st ASEAN Summit and 7th East Asia Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where he is expected later on November 19 and will hold talks with Asian leaders on November 20.

“During his interactions in the region he will discuss a broad range of issues including economic prosperity and job creation through increased trade and partnerships, energy and security cooperation, human rights, shared values and other issues of regional and global concern,” Carney said.

Economically, the three-nation Asia trip by Obama is part of his effort to refocus in the most “rapidly growing and dynamic” region of the world, the White House said.

Under the Obama administration, the US has made a major shift towards Asia and the Asia-Pacific region in general, which has been articulated by him and his officials several times in previous years.

“For the US, this reflects a broader shift. After a decade in which we fought two wars that cost us dearly, in blood and treasure, the US is turning its attention to the vast potential of the Asia-Pacific region,” Obama said during his trip to Australia last November.

“Here, we see the future. As the world’s fastest-growing region — and home to more than half the global economy — the Asia-Pacific region is critical to achieving my highest priority, and that’s creating jobs and opportunity for the American people,” the president said.

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