Voice of America
10 February 2016
With a backdrop of Beijing's growing assertiveness in the disputed South China Sea, President Barack Obama is set next week to host the leaders of the 10 ASEAN members at an estate near Palm Springs, California.
Analysts caution that expectations about the outcome need to be managed. “This being the last year of President Obama in office, I'm not particular strong on the idea that a great deal of substance can be done,” said Simon Tay, chairman of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs.
The Philippines and Vietnam are among those involved in maritime territorial disputes with China, and increasingly looking to Washington for security assurances. That puts them apart from some of the other ASEAN states, which resist amplifying the rhetoric toward Beijing.
That also could make it difficult for any substantive or groundbreaking proclamation emerging from the meeting in California.
“I don't think the United States is setting out to wreck anything,“ said Hong Kong University international law professor Chin Leng Lim. “But of course the United State has concerns about the South China Sea, about freedom of navigation... and these issues will be put up front at the summit.”... Click here to read the full article. Professor Lim's books include International Economic Law after the Global Crisis (CUP 2015) and The Trans-Pacific Partnership (CUP 2012).