US - Southeast Asia

Chronology from Sep 2011 to Dec 2011

:   US Ambassador to Indonesia Scot Marciel announces that the US will refurbish 25 F-16 fighter aircraft at cost for the Indonesian air force.
Dec. 13, 2011: The Philippines commissions the 3,390-ton frigate BRP Gregorio del Pilar, an old US Coast Guard cutter, as its largest and most modern warship.

:   Secretary Clinton, at President Obama’s behest, visits Burma to assess that country’s progress toward democracy and human rights.
Dec. 8, 2011:  A Thai-American, Joe Gordon, receives a 30-month jail sentence in Bangkok for lese-majeste (insulting the king) in a book he wrote in the US.  The US Embassy has denounced the ruling as excessive and a free speech violation.

:   Speaking with President Yudhoyono at the Bali ASEAN Summit, President Obama announces the transfer of 24 excess US F-16s to the Indonesian Air Force and an expansion of the Peace Corps program in the country.

:   President Obama attends the ASEAN-US and East Asia Summits in Bali.

:   Secretary Clinton visits Bangkok enroute to Bali and the East Asia Summit and offers flood assistance to Thailand.

:   Secretary Clinton visits the Philippines to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the mutual defense treaty between the two countries. She calls for its update.

:   Leaders from 18 nations gather in Bali for the sixth annual East Asia Summit that includes the US and Russia for the first time.

:  President Yudhoyono attends the 19th APEC Leaders Meeting in Honolulu and urges greater US economic cooperation with ASEAN.

:   President Yudhoyono rejects Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s allegations of human rights violations in Papua growing out of a workers’ strike at the Freeport McMoren copper mine in that province.

:  Special Envoy to Burma Mitchell visits Burma accompanied by Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Michael Posner.

: Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell visits Jakarta and Manila.

:   US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta meets Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in Bali.  Speaking to reporters, Panetta affirms US Asian alliance commitments and adds the intention to “build new partnerships … to improve the security in that region.”

: US Special Representative and Policy Coordinator for Burma Derek Mitchell visits Burma and meets democracy movement leader Aung San Suu Kyi, senior officials including Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin, and representatives of civil society.
Oct. 24, 2011:  Paul Jones, US ambassador to Malaysia, becomes the first US ambassador to be given the honorary title of datuk by the Sultan of Penang state. The honorific is a signal of strengthening US-Malaysia relations.

:   The US and Cambodian navies begin their second annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise from the port of Sihanoukville.  The exercise includes a civic action component, involving a public health clinic and building water wells.

:   Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation Thomas Countryman travels to Malaysia, Vietnam, and Thailand to help establish an agenda for the upcoming November East Asia Summit in Bali.
Oct. 17-28, 2011:  US Marines and Philippine troops engage in the 28th annual Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) joint exercise in several locations, including Palawan (for the first time) adjacent to the Spratly Islands also claimed by China.

:   Burma’s Parliament passes legislation permitting labor union organization for the first time since the repressive 1962 Trade Unions Act.

:   Assistant Secretary of State for Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell says that in light of “dramatic developments under way” in Burma leading to political liberalization that the US is considering some strengthening of relations and that the US will provide an all-around engagement in Asia as part of its global responsibilities.

:   David Shear is sworn in as US ambassador to Vietnam.

:   ASEAN legal experts meet in Manila to discuss a Philippine proposal for developing a “South China Sea Peace, Freedom, Friendship and Cooperation Zone.”

:   US Ambassador to Malaysia Paul Jones applauds Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s stated intention to abolish the country’s Internal Security Act, saying this would promote greater freedom for Malaysia.  The ambassador also supports the idea of a new anti-terrorism law and invited the government to seek advice from the US.

: Vietnam and the US hold their second defense dialogue in Washington and sign an agreement which includes the establishment of a regular defense dialogue mechanism and cooperation in maritime security, search and rescue, studying and exchanging experience in UN peace keeping activities, and humanitarian aid and disaster relief.

:   Philippine President Benigno Aquino visits the US and receives an honorary degree from Fordham University before going to the annual meeting of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly and to Washington, DC.

:   Burma unblocks restrictions on foreign news sites including Reuters, Democratic Voice of Burma, Voice of America, and British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

:  Burma is the only Southeast Asia country included on the State Department’s annual black list of states violating religious freedom.

:   US Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Richard Carlen visits Washington to help prepare for President Barack Obama’s inaugural visit to the November East Asian Summit and third US-ASEAN Leaders Meeting in Bali.

:   US Special Envoy to Burma Derek Mitchell visits Burma for the first time and meets officials, political opposition, and civil society members.  He meets opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi at her home in Rangoon.

: US House of Representatives Armed Services Committee delegation visits Manila to determine how Washington can help the Philippines meet its defense needs.

:   The aircraft carrier USS John Stennis visits Port Klang, Malaysia, as part of a seven-month mission to the western Pacific and South China Sea.

Date Range