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Jakarta Post

US-China competition in Southeast Asia

  • Pamungkas Ayudhaning Dewanto

Jakarta   /   Thu, December 2 2010   /  09:50 am

Barack Obama’s 10-day trip to Asia is over, and change is not only occurring within American domestic politics, but also in the global political arena. From New Delhi, Jakarta and Seoul to Yokohama, the US president’s travels elicited unexpected results. The trip was primarily intended to deal with two major issues for the US. First, it undertook to solidify the US’s continued presence in Asia by including India in advanced cooperation in order to preserve security in the South China Sea. The Chinese military buildup and territorial disputes in the region have undermined US willingness to engage with East Asian politics.Second, during Obama’s trip, the US sought to boost trade relations. Many claim the US economic crisis ended in September of last year. But the US unemployment rate since September 2009 has stayed at 9.5 to 10 percent — about 14.8 million people. The domestic ec...