In a letter dated 25 August 2010, US Senator Richard Lugar (Republican of Indiana) urged President Barack Obama to move expeditiously in appointing a new US Ambassador to 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.
a deadlocked parliament means probable concessions to the Greens by whichever party can form a government and may result in questioning engagement in Afghanistan and reduce Australia’s clout in Asian regionalism in the short term.
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.
“It’s ASEAN and China. Can I make myself clear? It’s ASEAN and China. Is that clear enough?” Romulo told reporters.
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.