CSIS Southeast Asia SIT-REP, March 10, 2016

This issue includes an overview of U.S. policy toward Myanmar as the National League for Democracy government prepares to take power, and analyses on Australia’s 2016 Defence White Paper, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s shift on the South China Sea, and the role of ASEAN in defending rules and norms in the South China Sea. Links will take you to the full publications, multimedia, or to registration for upcoming programs when available. To jump to a section, select one of the following:


Deep insight into developments that move the dial

Aung San Suu Kyi Is Key to Further Unlocking of U.S. Sanctions against Myanmar,” by Murray Hiebert (@MurrayHiebert1)

As Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) prepares to take power in Myanmar April 1, one of the questions U.S. policymakers will eventually need to address is what to do about the remaining U.S. economic sanctions against the country. Although many in the U.S. business community say it is time to lift the remaining sanctions in response to the NLD’s landslide victory in the November elections… Read more >>

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The CSIS Asia blog features insights on policy around the Asia Pacific

Australia’s Defence White Paper 2016: Middle of the Road for the Region’s Biggest Middle Power?,” by Helen Clark
Australia’s newly released 2016 Defence White Paper indicates that Canberra has chosen to rely on the continued primacy of U.S. power and a vision for international order in line with Washington. How Australia sees itself as a nation remains a vexed question. Are we displaced Anglos? An Asian nation with a difference? A top 20 nation? Or, help us all, a middle power? …. Read more >>

Malcolm Turnbull’s Reluctant Shift on the South China Sea,” by Ellen Chambers (@EllenLChambers)
The increasing militarization of the South China Sea in recent months has the Australian government, and many of its partners in the region, on heightened alert. Rhetoric alone is no longer a viable tactic against China’s assertive actions, and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull seems to have been drawn unwilling into adopting a tougher stance against Beijing… Read more >>

The South China Sea Tests,” by Arif Havas Oegroseno
At the recent U.S.-ASEAN leaders’ summit in Sunnylands, President Barack Obama spoke of the two sides advancing their “shared vision of a regional order where international rules and norms, including freedom of navigation, are upheld and where disputes are resolved through peaceful, legal means.” The oblique reference to the South China Sea was a declaration that the United States would not stand by idly as China unilaterally changed the maritime status quo, but tensions have only risen in the days since… Read more >>

Setting a High Bar down under: An American Perspective on Australia’s White Paper,” by Michael Green & Zack Cooper
The Australian Defence White Paper was a long time coming, but it was worth the wait. From an American perspective, the White Paper is a carefully crafted document that will leave many in Washington both pleased with and envious of Canberra’s strategic conceptualization and connection of ends and means. The White Paper notes that ‘a strong and deep alliance… Read more >>

Can We Make Progress on Trade & Investment with China in 2016?,” by Claire Reade
We face a daunting challenge these days, trying to determine where change in China is possible. We cannot tell for sure why the Third Plenum economic reforms have not moved more effectively to make the market play a decisive role, why state-owned enterprise reform is lagging, or whether the nationalism we are seeing in so many arenas will translate into harmful economic policies… Read more >>

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Recent Programs

CSIS programs are designed to expose you to policymakers through open and honest dialogue

Banyan Tree Leadership Forum with Daniel J. Kritenbrink
Daniel J. Kritenbrink, senior director for Asian affairs at the National Security Council, discussed the outcomes of the recent U.S.-ASEAN Special Leaders’ Summit at Sunnylands, California, and President Barack Obama’s upcoming travel to Vietnam in May and Laos in September. Watch/Listen >>

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For more on the Chair for Southeast Asia Studies, check out our website, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, visit our blog CogitAsia, and listen to our podcast at CogitAsia and iTunes. Thank you for your interest in U.S. policy in Southeast Asia and CSIS Southeast Asia. Join the conversation!

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