In Flight Reading: President Obama and the East Asia Summit

President Barack Obama meets with King Bhumibol Adulyadej of the Kingdom of Thailand in Bangkok Nov. 18, 2012. President Obama's trip to Southeast Asia will conclude with his attendance at the East Asia Summit in Cambodia, following his historic visit to Myanmar on November 19. Source: WhiteHouse's flickr photostream, U.S. government work.

President Barack Obama’s trip to Southeast Asia represents his first travels abroad since his re-election. Currently in Myanmar, the U.S. President will head to Cambodia for the East Asia Summit. Our CSIS Asia Team has compiled a series of materials to help understand the context of the trip. The President first stopped in Thailand, where Defense Secretary Panetta traveled in advance of his visit to discuss military ties.

Last week CSIS scholars Michael Green, Matt Goodman, and Chris Johnson participated in a press briefing ahead of the trip- for which audio, video and a transcript are available. Ernie Bower argues that the trip shows a purposeful focus on Asia by Obama in his second term.

Earlier this year, a CSIS delegation led by Ernie Bower and Murray Hiebert visited Myanmar to explore the recent changes in the country, which you can read about in their trip report summary here.

National Security Advisor Tom Donilon giving his speech at CSIS about the Obama administration's plans for Asia policy during the second term.

On Thursday, November 19 U.S. National Security Advisor Tom Donilon gave a speech at CSIS that discussed the Obama administration’s Asia policy in his second term- his prepared remarks are available on the White House website here and video of the event is available here.

To understand the formation of the economic aspects of EAS as an ASEAN centered regional institution as opposed to the APEC centered Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), we have pieces on cogitASIA by Ernie Bower here and here, as well as a longer piece by CSIS Simon Chair Matt Goodman here that discusses the RCEP architecture that China has championed.  For a recap of last years EAS themes in context, readers should see this piece here.


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