US - Southeast Asia

Chronology from Sep 2013 to Dec 2013

: Secretary Kerry visits Vietnam and the Philippines.

: US Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Tom Kelly visits Malaysia to discuss defense cooperation.

:  Second former US Hamilton-class Coast Guard cutter is commissioned as BRP Ramon Alcaraz by the Philippine Navy.

: Philip Goldberg is sworn in as the new US ambassador to the Philippines. He arrives in Manila on Nov. 26.

: Amphibious ships USS Ashland and the USS Germantown, equipped with helicopters, small boats, trucks, equipment to produce potable water and other supplies, take over US disaster relief operations in response to Typhoon Haiyan.

: US Navy Captain David Haas is suspended from duty for his role in the US Navy bribery scandal involving Glenn Defense Marine Asia, the sixth Navy officer to be implicated.

: Former US President Bill Clinton visits Myanmar and meets President Thein Sein, Parliamentary Speaker Shwe Mann, and Aung San Suu Kyi.

: USS George Washington accompanied by seven supply ships arrives in the Philippines to provide emergency response relief in aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.

: A 90-person US Marine task force from Okinawa arrives in the Philippines to provide disaster relief assistance in response to Typhoon Haiyan.

: Typhoon Haiyan moves through the Philippines, Vietnam, and Southern China.

:   US Navy CMDR Jose Sanchez is arrested for disclosing sensitive US Navy information to the CEO of Glen Defense Marine Asia and for accepting bribes for inflated and fraudulent services. US Vice Adm. Ted Branch and Rear Adm. Bruce Loveless are also implicated in scandal.

: US and Philippines negotiations over increased US rotational presence halt after disagreement about level of access Philippines troops will have to US facilities.

: Indonesia, Malaysia, and Myanmar ask the US and Australia to clarify media reports about embassy espionage allegations.

:  Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks link Australian embassies to US electronic espionage in a number of Southeast Asian countries, including Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and East Timor.

:   Assistant Secretary of State Russel at the 180th anniversary celebration of US-Thai relations held at the National Archives in Washington, notes that the two countries engage in over 40 joint military exercises annually and that hundreds of US companies in Thailand employ about 250,000 Thai workers.

:  At the APEC meeting in Bali, Secretary Kerry and his Vietnamese counterpart sign a civil nuclear cooperation agreement, permitting US companies to export nuclear equipment to Vietnam.  The agreement requires approval by the US Congress.

:  Secretary Kerry travels to Bali for APEC Economic Leaders Meeting, Brunei for the ASEAN-US Summit and East Asia Summit, and Malaysia for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit. A stop in the Philippines is canceled due to an approaching typhoon.

: US Navy Capt. Daniel Dusek of the Japan-based ship Bonhomme Richard is suspended due to implication in the Glen Defense Marine bribery scandal.

:  President Barack Obama cancels the Malaysia and Philippine portions of his Asia trip because of the US government shutdown.  Secretary of State Kerry will visit the countries instead.  (Subsequently, Obama cancels his whole Asia trip.)

: US and Philippines conduct fourth round of talks on increased rotational presence of the US military in the Philippines.

:  Secretary of State John Kerry attends the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in New York, affirming that “ASEAN has been at the center of the Asia Pacific’s regional architecture” and the “center” of the US rebalance strategy to Asia.

:  Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak visits the US to address the UN General Assembly and attend meetings in San Francisco and New York.  He also delivers an address to The Asia Society.

: US Ambassador to Cambodia William Todd attends the opening session of Parliament boycotted by the opposition following a bitterly contested election.  He states that his attendance is “not an endorsement of any election outcome or any political party.”

:  Philippines and US conduct joint military exercise PHIBLEX 2014, which focuses on natural disaster response as well as maritime security and territorial defense.

:  US welcomes Burma’s signing of a UN International Atomic Energy Agency Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement Additional Protocol that requires Nay Pyi Daw to declare any nuclear activities and to allow inspections.

: Leonard Glenn Francis, a Malaysian national residing in Singapore and CEO of Glen Defense Marine, is arrested on two counts of bribery. US Navy CMDR Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz and NCIS Special Agent John Bertrand Beliveau II are also charged with giving Francis confidential scheduling information in return for luxury travel and prostitutes.

: China and ASEAN meet in Suzhou for the Sixth Senior Officials Meeting on Implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. Discussion includes the possible establishment of a formal code of conduct.

:  US participates in an Indonesian-hosted counterterrorism exercise that is sponsored by the ADMM+.

:  In his first trip to Asia as US assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, Danny Russel visits Brunei and Indonesia.

: Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, Philippines, and US conduct an annual Southeast Asia Cooperation against Terrorism (SEACAT) military exercise.

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