US - Southeast Asia

Chronology from Oct 2007 to Dec 2007

: The People Power Party claims victory in the first Thai elections since a 2006 military coup, but its share of votes fell short of an absolute majority, making a coalition government a necessity.

: Forty-eight U.S. senators from both parties urge President Bush to push the UN Security Council to impose an international arms embargo on the Burmese military junta.

: U.S. House of Representatives votes unanimously to award the Congressional Gold Medal – the highest American civilian award–to Burma democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi.

: Adm. Keating visits Laos to talk with foreign and defense ministry officials on cooperative defense relations.

: U.S. Pacific Commander Adm. Timothy Keating leads a delegation to Vietnam at the invitation of the deputy chief of the Vietnam Peoples Army.

: The U.S., Singapore, and Thai Air Forces hold the opening phase of the annual Cope Tiger exercise in Singapore.  The second phase which will involve flying exercises will be held in Thailand from Jan. 27- Feb. 5.

: President Bush threatens to impose new sanctions on Burma if the military regime continues to ignore calls for a democratic transition and release political prisoners, including Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who is under house arrest.

: First Lady Laura Bush speaking on International Human Rights Day calls on Burma’s military junta to step aside if it is unwilling to bring about a democratic transformation.

: U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia Joseph Mussomeli and UN human rights representative Yash Ghai join 500 local rights activists in a march calling for an end to corruption.

: Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Stephan Mull visits Vietnam and states that the U.S. is helping improve the Vietnam army’s capacities in relief and rescue and international peace keeping.  He also discusses counter-terror cooperation and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.

: Undersecretary of State Burns visits Singapore to discuss regional and global issues with top government leaders, underlining the city-state’s important role.

: U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. Robert Willard, in Singapore, praises the “excellent defense relationship” between the two states.

:  The USS Essex arrives in Sihanoukville, the second U.S. warship to visit Cambodia this year.  The crew conducts medical and dental clinics as well as trains with the Cambodian military.

: USTR Schwab meets Cambodia’s minister of commerce to discuss deepening trade and investment relations.

: USTR Schwab meets ASEAN economic ministers in Singapore to discuss progress under the U.S.-ASEAN Trade and Investment Framework Agreement.

: U.S. Senate unanimously passes a resolution urging ASEAN to suspend Burma’s membership for human rights violations.

: The U.S. Embassy in Hanoi announces $1 million in aid to help Vietnam in the aftermath of heavy floods in the central provinces.

: Two U.S. warships dock in Haiphong, the first to visit northern Vietnam since the end of the Second Indochina War in 1975.

: Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez meets Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyn Tan Dung in Hanoi for three days of talks on expanding trade ties.  Executives from major U.S. corporations accompanied Secretary Gutierrez.

: The Bush administration sharply criticizes the Burmese military junta’s decision to expel Charles Petrie, the UN’s top resident diplomat, from the country after he issued a statement urging the junta to heed the voices of the protestors.

: Deputy Secretary of State Negroponte states China and India should suspend arms sales to Burma over its political repression.

: Singapore is doubling its air force fighter fleet by buying 12 F-15s.

: U.S. Chargé in Cambodia Piper Campbell states that offshore oil and gas deposits provide great potential, but managing these resources is a problem given the country’s corruption.

: President Bush expands financial sanctions on Burma’s leadership to an additional 14 high-level officials, while the Commerce Department blocks technology sales with dual-use capabilities.

: Talon Vision 2007, a land- and sea-based exercise, and the concurrent Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHILBEX) are held to facilitate military interoperability between the U.S. and the Philippines. Bilateral medical and dental clinics and civic action projects were a major part of these exercises.

: Undersecretary of State Burns calls on Burma to release all political prisoners and refrain from further violence against the civilian population.

: U.S. Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne visits Singapore.

: While in Honolulu for a State Department conference, Villarosa says that Burma’s people “need the support of the international community.”

: The U.S. Chargé in Burma, Shari Villarosa, is invited to the new capital, Naypyidaw, to meet junta members.

: U.S. Ambassador to the UN Zalmay Khalilzad, speaking before the UNSC, excoriates the Burmese junta for its suppression of peacefully protesting monks and civilians and warns the U.S. might propose a new UNSC resolution increasing sanctions.

: First Lady Laura Bush urges the junta in Burma to “step aside” and calls for a UNSC resolution calling for a peaceful transition to democracy.

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