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USA-Asia relations

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Title: Asia Foundation Releases Top 10 Recommendations for Trump Administration on Asia Foreign Policy
Date of publication: 14 November 2016
Description/subject: "The U.S. must not shrink from its leadership role in the international order, according to a new Asia Foundation report released today. Asian Views on America’s Role in Asia: The Future of the Rebalance is the Foundation’s signature foreign policy initiative bringing together diverse, distinct perspectives from influential Asian foreign policy specialists and thought leaders. The report arrives on the eve of possibly the greatest change in American foreign policy in Asia since the end of World War II. One of the principal conclusions of the report is that most Asians believe that a robust, sustained, and consistent U.S. diplomatic, economic, and security presence in the region is essential. President-elect Donald Trump will find a complex set of issues to address in the dynamic and divergent region, including pressing inter-Asian tensions, expectations of Asian leaders and the broader public about America’s role, as well as rising powers eager to set their own agendas. In contrast to the majority of Asia policy projects in the U.S. which limit the inquiry to American views, the report emphasizes the views of Asians, not only foreign policy luminaries, but also an emerging younger generation of leaders, including from civil society and policy institutes. The Asia Foundation report is formulated as a set of strategic recommendations—including a concise top 10—for the new administration on U.S. foreign policy priorities in Asia. These are: Maintain a strong American presence in the Asia Pacific; Support Asian regional architecture; Ratify TPP; Rethink U.S. strategy on the Korean peninsula; Pursue a balanced approach towards China; Ratify UN Convention on the Law of the Sea; Work with India to address South Asian security; Do not abandon Afghanistan; Play a leading role in nontraditional security; and Continue to project American “soft power.”
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asia Foundation
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 22 November 2016


Title: Asian Views on America’s Role in Asia: The Future of the Rebalance (text, slideshow, video)
Date of publication: 14 November 2016
Description/subject: The Future of the Rebalance... STRATEGIC RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE INCOMING U.S. PRESIDENT ON FOREIGN POLICY TOWARDS ASIA.....EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: As in much of the world, policymakers in Asia have been transfixed by the twists and turns of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.The contest between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton has unexpectedly set the stage for a comprehensive discussion of America’s post-war foreign policy—including its commitment to the global security system and a liberal trading regime. As the United States reexamines many of the traditional assumptions about its role in the world, Asian leaders are deeply concerned about America’s long-term support for the liberal, global economic order and Washington’s political will to sustain its longstanding international security commitments. Faced with the forces of isolationism and economic nationalism, the United States must not shrink from its leadership role in the international order. The U.S. has been a major power in Asia for the past 70 years, a time of unprecedented and dramatic economic expansion and societal change that has transformed virtually every Asian nation and thrust the region as a whole into a position of global preeminence. Yet despite these advances, the countries of Asia are contending with a number of complex and potentially destabilizing international and internal challenges—from territorial disputes and nuclear proliferation, maritime piracy and human and drug trafficking, to corruption, rapid urbanization, environmental pollution, income inequality and poverty, aging populations, and natural disasters..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asia Foundation
Format/size: pdf (7.4MB)
Alternate URLs: http://asiafoundation.org/slideshow/asian-views-americas-role-asia-report-release-events-united-sta... (slideshow)
http://asiafoundation.org/video/asian-views-americas-role-asia-public-program-washington-dc/ (video)
http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs23/AF-2016-11-17-Asian-Views-on-Americas-Role-in-Asia-en.pdf (pdf)
Date of entry/update: 22 November 2016


Title: HUMAN RIGHTS IN ASEAN: Briefing Materials for the US-ASEAN Summit: Sunnylands Estate, California, February 15-16, 2016
Date of publication: 16 February 2016
Description/subject: SUMMARY: "When US President Barack Obama first articulated his administration’s goal of a diplomatic rebalance to Asia, he outlined three areas in which the US government would focus its attentions: increased strategic and military ties, better economic integration, and greater attention to promoting democracy and human rights. Obama outlined the last prong of the rebalance in a speech in Australia on November 17, 2011: -Every nation will chart its own course. Yet it is also true that certain rights are universal; amongthem, freedom of speech, freedom ofthe press, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, and the freedom of citizens to choose their own leaders. -These are not American rights ... or Western rights. These are human rights. They stir in every soul, as we’ve seen in the democracies that have succeeded here in Asia. Other models have been tried and they have failed - fascism and communism, rule by one man or rule by committee. And they failed for the same simple reason: they ignore the ultimate source of power and legitimacy - the will ofthe people. On February 15-16, 2016, President Obama will host 10 government leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) fora summit at the Sunnylands estate in California. For decades, the United States government has viewed ASEAN as an important economic, security, and political partner, and has forged closer ties with ASEAN countries as they have undergone major economic and political changes. In recent years, some countries, such as the Philippines and Indonesia, have made steady though uneven progress toward becoming democratic states with increasing respect for basic human rights. Most recently, in November 2015 the military junta in Burma allowed the opposition to contest elections and accepted the landslide victory of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy— though it still maintains broad constitutional powers and de facto control over security forces and large parts ofthe economy. Many ASEAN countries, however, continue to be plagued by deep-seated political and economic problems. As the chapters below outline, most of ASEAN’s 10 members have extraordinarily poor human rights records. Beyond the lack of basic freedoms of expression, association, and peaceful assembly in many countries, problems across ASEAN include restrictions on civil society, failures on women’s rights, the political use of courts, high-level corruption, lack of protection of refugees and asylum seekers, human trafficking, and abuses against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. For President Obama, the February 2016 US-ASEAN summit represents another chapter in the continuing efforts to rebalance attention to the Asia region. For many of ASEAN’s leaders—in particular those who have not come to power through free and fair elections— the summit represents an unearned diplomatic reward: a robust US reaffirmation of their sought-for legitimacy as leaders ofthe 615 million people who live in ASEAN. One particularly egregious example is the invitation to the summit for Thai Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-ocha, who took power in a 2014 military coup, dismantled democratic institutions, and has led a relentless crackdown on critics and dissidents. Prayut has consistently delayed the date for a return to democratic rule, making it clear that he expects the army to manage the country’s affairs even after a vote for a new parliament is held. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung of Vietnam and President Choummaly Sayasone of Laos preside over one-party authoritarian states that deny basic freedoms and use censorship, detention, and torture to maintain their party’s hold on power. The communist party of each country has been in power since 1975 and have shown no interest in moving towards pluralism or genuine elections. The sultan of Brunei, Hassal Bolkiah, is one ofthe world’s few remaining hereditary government leaders and has imposed a near complete ban on freedoms of expression, association, and assembly. He plans to increase the imposition of Islamic law punishments, including whipping and stoning, foradultery, sex between unmarried persons, and homosexual activity. The prime minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak, retained power in 2014 after a deeply flawed electoral process in which his party, which has been in power since 1967, lost the popular vote. Implicated in a major corruption scandal, he has engaged in a broad crackdown on Malaysia’s political opposition, civil society organizations, and media..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Watch
Format/size: pdf (5.6MB-reduced version; 15MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs21/HRW-2016-02-16-US-ASEAN-Summit_Human_Rights_in_ASEAN-en.pdf
https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/supporting_resources/asean_02_16.pdf
Date of entry/update: 09 March 2016