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    Burma: ASEAN Can’t Ignore Persecution of Religious Minorities

    As Burma assumes its role as chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), its ability to credibly deal with serious human rights issues is in serious question. Burma has come out with a statement that, under its chairmanship, ASEAN will not address concerns about the persecution of the … More

    Southeast Asia: In Obama’s Absence, China Takes Initiative

    Reactions to President Obama’s absence from this year’s Asia–Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum highlighted the stakes of American leadership in Southeast Asia and shined a spotlight on China’s rising challenge to U.S. influence in the region. Amidst the ongoing government shutdown, President Obama abruptly canceled his highly anticipated trip to … More

    Southeast Asia and the Limits of American Soft Power

    Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s swing through Southeast Asia last week was notable not for the headlines and handshake photos he generated but the ones generated by the Chinese. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was hosting the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) foreign ministers in Beijing during the Secretary’s … More

    Secretary Clinton's Asia Tour: Keep the Pressure on South China Sea

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in the midst of a 10-day tour of the Asia-Pacific. Certainly there are many things to be discussed over the week-and-a-half visit, but high on the Secretary’s agenda should be the brewing conflict over the South China Sea and assertion of American interests there, … More

    Burma: Human Rights Situation Underscores Need for Careful, Go-Slow Approach

    As the persecution and human rights violations against ethnic minorities in Burma continue, the U.S., ASEAN, and other stakeholders need to examine their engagement with the Burmese military regime with this problem foremost in their minds. Rohingya Muslims are one of the most oppressed ethnic minorities in the world. Since … More

    Four Reasons Why Burma Does Not Deserve the 2014 ASEAN Chair

    According to press reports, the foreign ministers of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) bloc have approved Burma’s request for the 2014 chairmanship. The approval comes after a series of reforms from the quasi-civilian government in Naypyidaw, such as the release of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San … More

    Japan and Philippines Strengthen Strategic Partnership

    Philippine President Beningo Aquino III and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, who just returned from a week of high-level dialogues at the U.N. headquarters in New York, met in Tokyo September 27 to discuss how they can strengthen their strategic partnership. Noda and Aquino’s dialogue focused on bolstering their maritime … More

    President Obama Should Accept Aquino’s Invitation

    While in New York for the formal launch of the Open Government Partnership, a multilateral initiative aimed at bolstering transparency and eliminating corruption, President Benigno Aquino of the Philippines delivered a simple message to President Obama: Come visit the Philippines. Indeed, throughout this trip, President Aquino has extolled the U.S. … More

    ASEAN’s Problem with Democracy

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Hanoi, Vietnam, on July 22 to participate in Asia’s largest security conference. This past week’s Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum (ARF) and the 43rd ASEAN Plus Three Foreign Ministers Meeting was filled with diplomatic discussions on how to create a safer … More

    Actions Speak Louder than Words—Even in Asia

    Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, current Chairman of ASEAN, has returned from the G-20 summit in Toronto, just in time to host the upcoming 43rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Ministerial Meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam. Dung has proven himself to be more of an active leader than prior … More