US - Southeast Asia

Chronology from Jan 2010 to Mar 2010

:   Vietnam and the US sign a Nuclear Cooperation Memorandum of Understanding to help develop the Vietnamese civilian nuclear power sector.

:    Burmese opposition party, National League for Democracy, announces it will not participate in planned elections because of “unjust” electoral laws, which would require that the party to expel its leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.

:   Commander of the US Pacific Command Adm. Robert Willard testifies before the House Armed Services Committee and Senate Armed Services Committee on security conditions and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.

:   The White House announces that President Obama will postpone his trip to Indonesia because of the House vote on health care legislation.

:   Indonesian and US Air Forces begin a review of F-5s, F-16s and C-130s for the first time in two years, to remedy maintenance issues that resulted in part from the multi-year gap in military cooperation when the Indonesian military was under US sanctions.

: Burmese authorities release US citizen Nyi Nyi Aung, who returns to the US.

:   “Red shirt” protests in Thailand cause Assistant Secretary Campbell to cancel the Bangkok leg of his trip, explaining that he “does not want to add to the logistical burden of our Thai friends.”

:   The US and Vietnam join six other nations (including Singapore and Brunei) at the fourth round of TransPacific Trade Partnership negotiations in Melbourne.

:   Singapore, Thailand, and US Air Forces conclude Copy Tiger, annual trilateral air exercises, at Korat Airbase in Thailand.  This year’s exercises included 80 aircraft and 1,000 personnel from the three air forces.

:   Assistant Secretary Campbell visits Laos to participate in the US-Laos Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue, the highest-ranking US official to do so.  He also meets representatives of the Mekong River Commission.

:   As pro-Thaksin “red shirt” protestors gear up for another round of demonstrations, the US Embassy in Bangkok calls upon the protestors to foreswear the use of violence and the Royal Thai government to exercise appropriate restraints.

:   State Department spokesman Philip Crowley tells reporters that the Burmese political party registration law is “a mockery of the democratic process and ensures the upcoming election will be devoid of credibility.”

:   At a press conference in Kuala Lumpur, Assistant Secretary Campbell is asked if the US will support Vietnamese efforts to negotiate a solution to South China Sea problems with China and responds that Washington “welcomes China’s commitment to engage again in the Code of Conduct.”

:   The Burmese government issues five laws on the election commission, political party registration, lower and upper houses of Parliament, and state and division legislatures.

: Singapore Navy warns that an unidentified terrorist group is planning an attack on oil tankers in the Straits of Malacca.

: Assistant Secretary Campbell testifies before the House Subcommittee on Asia, Pacific and Global Environment (House International Relations Committee).

:   Four leaders of the Indonesian TNI Special Forces unit Kopassus visit Washington for discussions on the prospects of resuming training for the unit.

:   The USS Patriot arrives in port at Sihanoukville to conduct training exercises with the Cambodian Navy, emphasizing damage control, search and seizure, and at-sea rescue.

:   Burma convicts US citizen Nyi Nyi Aung (born Kyaw Zaw Lwin), a pro-democracy activist arrested in September, for forging a national identity card, possession of undeclared foreign currency, and failure to renounce his Burmese citizenship; charges that are widely considered to be politically motivated.

:   The (second) sodomy trial of Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim begins in Kuala Lumpur.  On May 8 Deputy Foreign Minister A. Kohilan Pillay warns foreign governments not to criticize the Malaysian justice system or to “meddle” in the trial.

:   The US and Thailand, joined by Singapore, Japan, Indonesia, and South Korea complete the 29th round of Cobra Gold, with observers from 15 countries.

:   Indonesia and the US co-sponsor an interfaith dialogue in Jakarta that includes participants from several Asian nations.

:   Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell confirms that US sanctions on Burma will remain in place “until Burmese authorities demonstrate they are prepared to make meaningful progress on US core concerns,” in testimony before the Asia Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

:   Singapore assumes command of Combined Task Force 151, a multinational anti-piracy group, from the US in a ceremony in Bahrain.

:   The US takes a major step toward establishing a Permanent Mission to ASEAN, the first ASEAN dialogue partner to do so, when Josh Cartin takes up his responsibilities as Resident Representative of the US Ambassador for ASEAN Affairs in Jakarta.

:   Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivers a major policy address on Asian regional architecture in Honolulu, with considerable attention to ASEAN.

: A House Asia Subcommittee Congressional Delegation, led by Chair Eni Faleomavaega and including Rep. Mike Honda and Rep. Joseph Cao, visits Laos and checks on status of 4,000 Hmong repatriated from Thailand in late December.

Date Range