Columbia International Affairs Online: Journals

CIAO DATE: 12/2010

U.S.-Southeast Asia Relations Chronology

Comparative Connections

A publication of:
Center for Strategic and International Studies

Volume: 10, Issue: 4 (January 2009)


Full Text

Oct. 1, 2008: Indiana University Law School’s Center for Constitutional Democracy initiates an investigation to determine if Burma’s military junta has committed war crimes against minority ethnic groups. Oct. 6, 2008: Vietnam and the U.S. conduct their first ever strategic dialogue in Hanoi, addressing political, security, defense, and humanitarian cooperation. The Vietnamese delegation was led by Deputy Foreign Minister Phan Binh Minh, the U.S. by Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Mark Kimmitt. Oct. 7, 2008: The Philippines signs the ASEAN Charter. Oct. 8, 2008: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in a speech at the State Department urges ASEAN to do more in promoting democracy in Burma. Oct. 15, 2008: State Department spokesman Sean McCormack tells reporters that the U.S. urges restraint on both Cambodia and Thailand after a gunfight broke out in a disputed zone near a landmark 11th century temple. U.S-Southeast Asia Relations 63 January 2009 Oct. 15, 2008: 4000 Filipino and U.S. soldiers inaugurate the two-week annual joint Talon Vision and Amphibious Landing Exercise (Philbex) involving integrated air, ground, and naval training along with civic action in selected communities. Oct. 15, 2008: Thai and Cambodian soldiers exchange rocket and rifle fire for about an hour in a confrontation at their border over the disputed Preah Vihear temple. At least two Cambodian soldiers are killed, and several soldiers from both sides are wounded. Oct. 18-21, 2008: The USS Mustin visits Danang’s Tian Sa port, headquarters of Vietnam’s Navy Zone 3, which is responsible for patrolling the area of disputed Paracel and Spratly Islands. Oct. 21, 2008: President George W. Bush invites Indonesian President Yudhoyono to attend a mid-November meeting of the G20 on the global financial crisis in Washington, DC. Oct. 21, 2008: Indonesia ratifies the ASEAN Charter clearing the way for its formal adoption. Oct. 27, 2008: The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service begins enforcing The Tom Lantos Block Burmese Jade Act aimed at keeping Burma’s jade and jewelry from third-party countries out of U.S. markets. Oct. 28-29, 2008. U.S. and Philippine navies engage in the Philbex-2008 bilateral exercises in Subic Bay, part of which is civic action repair and repainting of schools in Olongapo City. Nov. 4, 2008: U.S. Ambassador to Singapore Patricia Herbold at the rollout of Singapore’s latest combat aircraft, the F-15SG, states the acquisition underscores the close relationship between the two countries. The SG is the most advanced in the F-15 series. Nov. 5, 2008: U.S. and Brunei naval forces engage in a maritime security exercise with commandos from Brunei boarding a U.S. ship carrying “illicit cargo.” Nov. 9, 2008: U.S. Ambassador to Thailand Eric John assures the Thai commerce minister that good U.S.-Thai relations will continue when President-elect Obama takes office and that there will be no discrimination against Thai trade and labor. Nov. 12, 2008: President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo claims that the U.S. and the Philippines will remain “steadfast friends and allies” under President Obama. Nov. 13, 2008: The U.S. Treasury Department freezes the assets of 26 individuals and 17 firms tied to drug trafficking in Burma and prohibits U.S. citizens from dealing with them. Nov. 13, 2008: CIA Director Michael Hayden says that Indonesia-based Al-Qaeda affiliate, Jemmah Islamiya, has been significantly disrupted by the Indonesian National Police. Nov. 14, 2008: Indonesian President Yudhoyono arrives in Washington to attend the G20 summit on the global economic crisis. U.S-Southeast Asia Relations 64 January 2009 Nov. 18, 2008: California, Illinois, and Wisconsin sign a pact with Indonesia’s Aceh Province that allows Aceh forest carbon credits to be sold to U.S. states to reduce global carbon dioxide. Nov. 21, 2008: The U.S. Embassy in Manila announces $25 million in assistance for individuals and families displaced by the fighting in Mindanao between government forces and Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels. The assistance will be primarily rice from the World Food Program and services from NGO partners. Nov. 24, 2008: Secretary Rice and President Arroyo exchange compliments on the sidelines of the Peru APEC meeting, emphasizing efforts to suppress terrorists in the southern Philippines. Nov. 24, 2008: The Sultan of Brunei visits the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) in Honolulu. Nov. 24, 2008: PACOM Commander Adm. Timothy Keating visits Singapore and underscores the excellent bilateral defense relationship. Nov. 27, 2008: The U.S. Embassy in Bangkok warns U.S. citizens to stay away from the capital’s airports, which thousands of anti-government demonstrators have seized in the extended confrontation with the Thai government. Dec. 1, 2008: The State Department calls anti-government protestors’ seizure of the two Bangkok airports “not an appropriate means of protest” and urges them “to walk away from the airports peacefully.” Dec. 2, 2008: A State Department spokesman, citing a Thai court ruling calling for the Thai prime minister to step down, said the U.S. hopes it will lead to a resolution of the political crisis that has brought political life to a standstill. Dec. 4, 2008: Lt. Gen. Douglas Fraser, deputy commander of PACOM, visits Philippine Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Alexander Yano. Along with U.S. Ambassador Kenney, they discuss the security situation in Mindanao. Dec. 10, 2008: First Lady Laura Bush announces the U.S. will add $5 million to the $75 million in disaster relief provided to Burma in the aftermath of last May’s Cyclone Nargis. Dec. 15, 2008: Abhisit Vejjajiva is elected prime minister of Thailand. Dec. 15, 2008: ASEAN Foreign Ministers meeting in Jakarta announce the activation of the Association’s new Charter, which formalizes members’ democracy and human rights commitments as well as the principle of noninterference in member’s domestic affairs. Dec. 24, 2008: Burma signs a 30-year contract with four firms from South Korea and India to pipe natural gas to China from fields off Burma’s northwest coast. Dec. 29, 2008: Protesters in Bangkok block access to the Parliament building, forcing a one-day delay in the legislature’s opening session under Thailand’s new government. U.S-Southeast Asia Relations 65 January 2009