The stakes are high in New York, and the fact the 2nd US ASEAN Summit is taking place is significant. It is a strong signal that the US is finding its way to more comprehensive engagement in Asia and following through on its commitments to try to build an enduring Asia strategy using ASEAN as a foundation.
Breaking News: The 2nd US-ASEAN Summit will be held on 24 Sept in New York. An extension of the 1st US-ASEAN Summit in Singapore, 2nd summit is scheduled to last 120 minutes, from 1-3pm.* The White House has notified ASEAN…
The gap in US strategy for intensifying its engagement in Southeast Asia is clearly trade. While the United States is starting to connect the dots diplomatically and on security architecture, our trade professionals, some of the most hard-core, experienced Southeast Asia hands in the Administration, are essentially benched as they wait for political and policy decisions to put the US trade leadership back into the game.
The 2nd US ASEAN Summit needs to be held in Washington, DC. When inviting ten foreign leaders from a strategically vital region to meet the President of the United States, symbolism and form are vitally important. The Washington choice sends the right messages at the right time.
Vietnam is providing very strong leadership in its role as ASEAN Chair in 2010. Expect that proactive leadership to continue next year as Indonesia, by far the largest country in ASEAN, takes over as Chair.