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Obama Seeks to Reassure Regional Allies Following China Accords

obama-asean2012-600

14 Nov Obama Seeks to Reassure Regional Allies Following China Accords

On the heels of securing new climate, trade and military agreements with China, President Barack Obama looked to reassure America’s wary regional allies of its continued commitment to them.

Mr. Obama, who attended a series of meetings Thursday in Myanmar at back-to-back summits with South and East Asian leaders, is trying to assuage concerns over Washington’s resolve in supporting its Asian partners, many of whom find themselves at odds with an increasingly assertive China.

Simon Tay, chairman of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, welcomed the U.S.-China decision to improve the military-to-military communications as among the “sensible things” tackled between two nations that “are going to have differences on a range of issues” and need to find areas where they can agree.

Regarding regional maritime disputes that have put China at odds with several of its neighbors, Mr. Tay said: “The heart of the question is what is America’s role in this?”

“We’re kind of hoping for a region that is more multilateral and balanced,” neither dominated by China nor defined by U.S. hegemony, Mr. Tay said.

The full article was originally published in the Wall Street Journal on 13 Nov 2014.