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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 and Its Press Freedom Woes

    A Burmese court recently sentenced a journalist to jail for purported defamation, coarse language, and trespassing. The journalist, Ma Khine, was reporting on corruption and video piracy when she allegedly got into an argument during an agreed-upon interview with lawyer Aye Aye Phyo, who asked her to leave his home … More

    Critical Questions for the Obama Administration on Burma–North Korea Ties

    In a discussion at Heritage last week examining U.S.–Burma military-to-military relations, former Senate Foreign Relations Committee professional staff Keith Luse laid out his personal opinion on the issue and raised 10 very specific questions for Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel regarding Burma’s relationship with North Korea. The Administration would do … More

    Burma Is Not Ready for Mil-to-Mil Cooperation with the U.S.

    Has Burma made enough reforms to have military-to-military cooperation with the U.S.? Congressman Steve Chabot (R–OH) says no. In a recent speech at The Heritage Foundation, Chabot noted that the Obama Administration has been too hasty to reward Burma for its reforms and is unclear on what its policies in … More

    Asia: What’s at Stake for America

    The Heritage Foundation’s Asian Studies Center recently released “A New View of Asia: 24 Charts That Show What’s at Stake for America,” an annual publication highlighting the critical importance of U.S.–Asia relations. The report documents in graphic form important economic, geographic, military, and political trends in the region and emphasizes … 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

    Burma’s Release of Child Soldiers: Promising, but Not Enough

    This past week, Burma announced the release of 68 child soldiers from its ranks. This latest action is promising, but progress toward ridding the army of its estimated 5,000 child soldiers is likely to be a long and arduous process. The U.S. should maintain pressure on Burma to ensure that … More

    Burma: Neighbors Call Out Regime on Rohingya Ethnic Cleansing

    Burma’s neighbors are finally speaking out about the ethnic cleansing occurring at their doorsteps. Both Indonesia and Malaysia have made public statements asking Burma to revisit its policy toward the Muslim minority Rohingya as violence continues to escalate in the nation. Earlier this week, Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa called … More

    Administration Jumps the Language Barrier on Burma-North Korea Ties

    To achieve American aims in Burma, a policy is needed that clearly lays out the benchmarks of reform and consequences of Burma’s failure to meet them. Lately, these measurements have been anything but clear. The U.S. Department of the Treasury recently sanctioned Lieutenant General Thein Htay, the head of Burma’s … More

    Hill Concern over U.S.–Burma Military Engagement Grows

    First, the House of Representatives moved to draw a line on American engagement with the Burmese military. Now, the Senate is beginning to stir. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that passed the House a couple of weeks ago contains language expressing the sense of Congress that “the Department of … More