US - Southeast Asia
Chronology from Sep 2017 to Dec 2017
: US and Singapore hold their 10th annual Counter-proliferation Dialogue in Singapore.
: Assistant Deputy Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Patrick Murphy visits Cambodia and asks Phnom Penh to continue supporting UN resolutions countering North Korean missiles and nuclear weapons. Cambodia’s secretary of state of foreign affairs avers that Cambodia supports the idea of Korea being a nuclear-free peninsula.
: US Special Representative for North Korea Policy Joseph Yun visits Thailand to encourage Thai government to enforce UN Security Council sanctions against North Korea.
: US and Singapore hold the seventh annual Bilateral Strategic Dialogue in Washington.
: Secretary Tillerson says Myanmar’s Rohingya population was subjected to “ethnic cleansing,” accusing security forces of perpetrating “horrendous atrocities” against the Muslim minority.
: Secretary Tillerson visits Burma (Myanmar) and meets Sr. Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, the nation’s military commander and State Councilor Aung San Suu Kyi. He urges them to halt violence that has driven more than 600,000 Rohingya from Rakhine State to flee to Bangladesh.
: President Trump skips the East Asia Summit in the Philippines after being told the meeting would be delayed by about two hours.
: Philippine’s Foreign Affairs Secretary Cayetano thanks Trump for his offer to mediate the South China Sea dispute but says that all ASEAN countries must agree before any such arrangement could be reached.
: President Trump attends the 50th ASEAN anniversary and the 40th anniversary of US-ASEAN relations in the Philippines. He also meets President Duterte.
: Trump makes a state visit to Vietnam and meets President Tran Dai Quang. They discuss measures to strengthen and expand the Comprehensive Partnership between their two countries.
: Trump attends the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders Meeting in Da Nang, Vietnam. In a formal speech, he states that multilateral trade agreements disadvantage the US. He also visits Hanoi to meet Vietnam’s leaders
: Secretary of State Tillerson, during a visit to Beijing, reiterates the US position on freedom of navigation in the South China Sea as well as opposition to “militarization of the outposts” in that body of water.
: US Defense Secretary James Mattis visits the Philippines and meets President Duterte in Manila to discuss ways to deepen US-Philippine military ties.
: Philippine government declares the end to the five-month siege of Marawi.
: Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong visits the US and meets Trump at the White House.
: US and Philippine forces conduct counterterrorism exercises.
: Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha visits Washington and meets President Trump at the White House. They discuss Thai investment in the US and Thailand’s strategic role in Asia. Trump refers to Thailand a “key partner and longstanding ally.”
: US and Philippine militaries conduct joint exercise Kaagapay Ng Mga Mandirigma Ng Dagat (KAMANDAG). The exercise, which roughly translate to English as “Alongside the Warriors of the Sea,” which will take the place of the US-Philippine Amphibious Exercise (PHIBLEX) and will focus on enhancing counterterrorism and humanitarian assistance and disaster and relief capabilities, as well as other humanitarian and civic assistance projects.
: Philippine’s President Rodrigo Duterte calls for friendly relations with the US after months of anti-US rhetoric.
: Philippine’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alan Peter Cayetano visits Washington and meets Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
: US and Malaysia conduct a “Maritime Training Activity” (MTA) which appears to be a replacement for the annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise series, which has been held for past 22 years.
: Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen asks the US to withdraw the Peace Corps from Cambodia one day after he ceased cooperation with US efforts to find and repatriate the remains of US soldiers in Cambodia killed in the Vietnam War.
: US Ambassador to Cambodia William Heidt denies allegations by Prime Minister Hun Sen that Washington is seeking to oust his government.
: Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak visits Washington and meets President Donald Trump at the White House. Najib is under investigation by the US Justice Department for his involvement in an investment fund that faces a multibillion dollar corruption allegation.
: US embassy promise $2 million for drug reduction activities in the Philippines.
: Indonesia and the United States conduct the 23rd annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Traning (CARAT) naval exercise, including ground activities in Surabaya and at-sea scenarios in the Java and Bali Seas.
: Cambodia’s opposition party leader Kem Sokha is arrested and accused of plotting a US-backed coup against Prime Minister Hun Sen. The State Department condemns the arrest as politically motivated in anticipation of the 2018 national elections.
: United States pledges $14 million to help rehabilitate the southern Philippine city of Marawi ravaged by military operations against ISIS-affiliated militants.