Full text issue

Brad Glosserman, Carl Baker
Content Type
Journal Article
Comparative Connections
Issue Number
Publication Date
September 2014
Center for Strategic and International Studies
No abstract is available.
Political Geography
China, Thailand
US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry continued their "pivots" to Asia over the summer months, respectively at tending the Shangri-La Dialogue and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), before joining up for a 2+2 with their Aussie counterparts. President Obama's failure to mention his Asia rebalance during his "major foreign policy address" at West Point (incorrectly) raised questions about his administration's commitment to the region as the Middle East and Eastern Europe continued to boil over. No wonder no one seemed to have much time to pay attention to Pyongyang as it continued its (idle) threats and insults. Meanwhile, there was little progress reported on the economic centerpiece of the US pivot, the "gold standard" Trans - Pacific Partnership (TPP), even as China continued its pursuit of an alternative "Asia for Asians" approach, best manifested by the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and President Xi's speech at the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA). Finally, two of the world's largest democracies, India and Indonesia, held landmark elections, in stark contrast to Thailand where the military leadership tried to legitimize its rule amid lingering questions as to when true democracy will be restored.