Barack Obama in Phnom Penh: Institution-capacity building or security strengthening forever?

Comment: The author assertively stressed on how America should earn its most profitability from this second trip of President Barack Obama to join the East Asian Summit (EAS) or ASEAN+6 convenes in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, in this November 19, 2012. In one aspect, White House administration is showing importance on its presence in South East Asian countries. With this assumption, Barack administration has softened its strong policy on ASEAN since his first trip to Bali and now it is his second trip to Phnom Penh on his freshly re-elected presidency mandate.

Second important aspect, author repeatedly endorsed America’s concern is the “institution-capacity building”. What does this mean? Author didn’t elaborate it but as I can assume, he may mean the construction of sustainable economic development, democracy, human rights and good governance.

As the result, American-based Cambodian groups are petitioning to the White House to double check its aids of more than $800 millions dollar since 1992 to Cambodia: Has this aids leveraged the livelihood of Cambodian people? Has this aids helped reform or re-construct the Cambodia from authoritarian regime, or from pseudo-democratic regime, to genuine democratic administration? You can join petition by go to this link  More than this, since his visit to Bali, the White House emphasized on regional security and anti-terrorism more than anything else?…..

So what “institution-capacity building” has US achieved in Cambodia?

The message is strong enough for all Cambodians to learn from the Re-election Speech of President Barack Obama “..not what got be done for us, but not what got be done by us…”

This fast approaching East Asian Summit (EAS) is a good chance for individual Cambodian to voice their concern to taking action on what Obama addressed to his subjects nationwide.

PacNet #73 Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012

East Asia Summit: The Path from Base Camp

by Matthew P. Goodman

Matthew P. Goodman (MGoodman@csis.org) is the William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy at CSIS. This article originally appeared in the CSIS Global Economics Monthly’s November 2012 issue.

Fresh off his reelection to a second term as US president, Barack Obama sets out this month on a trip to Southeast Asia that will include a historic visit to Myanmar (Burma). While that stop will understandably get most of the attention, the two days in Cambodia bear watching as well. After meeting with the leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Phnom Penh on Nov. 19, the president will attend his second East Asia Summit (EAS) the following day. This event is central to the strategy he articulated one year ago of “rebalancing” US foreign policy toward the vital Asia-Pacific region. Unlike last year, when just showing up was accomplishment enough, the measure of success at this year’s EAS will be the president’s ability to nudge forward a concrete, if modest, agenda that demonstrates the US commitment to institution-building in Asia and advances US interests there.

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Obama is re-elected to possibly re-shape Cambodia

Several mountains and rivers that American Election Campaign moved on its trail that I have no enough time to follow all those trails for personal learning, today around 11pm of Mountain Time, in front of live CNN channel, I am very impressed by the speech from the re-elected president, Barack Obama.

Many words and phrases of his speech caught heart all listeners and I can assure that as a winner, his speech tends to appreciate all hard working regardless of winner or loser, and over all his recall and recall for a great unity of the United States of America. He is an amazing public speaker, inspirational and authentic politician.

Obama said that “not what got be done for us, but what got be done by us…” amazed my mind vigorously.

From this phrase, I wish to ask all Cambodian compatriots that “We do not ask what Cambodia nation got be done for us, we must ask what Cambodia nation got be done by us…”

President Obama’s Full Acceptance Speech

 

Transliteration By ABC NEWS

November 7, 2012

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much. Tonight, more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny to perfect our union moves forward. (Applause) It moves forward because of you. It moves forward because you reaffirmed the spirit that triumphs over war an depression. The spirit that has lifted the spirit from the depths of despair to the great heights of hope. The belief that while each of us will pursue our own individual dreams we are an American family and we will rise and fall as one nation, and as one people. (Applause)

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Cambodia’s EAS Carrot: Incentives for a Successful Summit by Gregory Poling and Alexandra Sander

Comment: As a former student of public policy for my MA at the University of Hawaii, I am impressed by the comments made by Gregory and Alexandra in addressing some thorny issues Cambodia must accomplish as a chairman of ASEAN this year. Both authors argued that Cambodia failed shamefully on its mission to be neutral in previous meeting of Asian Ministerial Meeting (AMM) in July in addressing the dispute of South China Sea. Both authors suggested Cambodia to correct its policy framework and bring back fame to ASEAN in this upcoming East Asian Summit (EAS) this November. The authors shed light on Cambodia’s inclining dependency towards China rather than balance its policy between both powerful countries such as China and the USA. They stated that “the next few years could prove a watershed for ASEAN in its quest for centrality in regional architecture.”

However, I see that both authors don’t pay attention on internal issues which are crucial particle and concrete foundation as a host or chairmanship, Cambodia must ensure that she has willfully endorsed the democratic principles and tightly held an open-minded domestic political profession. If  Cambodia couldn’t ensure that journalist Mom Sonando must be freed from jail and alter other accusations government rendered towards him, the government will have a roadblock within its feet. If Cambodia couldn’t ensure that key opposition leader, Sam Rainsy, can exercise his political rights and safely return back to Cambodia to exercise his presidency as the National Rescue Party (NRP) before next year national election, Cambodian government will have a roadblock within its feet. These two visible things and the chairmanship role model two authors addressed potentially deviates Cambodia’s collective success as an ASEAN chairman in this upcoming November of EAS.

PacNet #68 Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012

Cambodia’s EAS Carrot: Incentives for a Successful Summit by Gregory Poling and Alexandra Sander

Gregory Poling (gpoling@csis.org) is research associate with the Chair for Southeast Asia Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. Alexandra Sander (asander@csis.org) is a researcher with the Chair for Southeast Asia Studies.

Cambodia will fulfill its last major obligation as this year’s ASEAN chair November 18-20 when it hosts the annual ASEAN Summit and seventh East Asia Summit (EAS). The EAS in particular will provide Cambodia with the opportunity to restore some of its credibility after the public embarrassment of the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM) in July. On that occasion, Cambodia used its prerogative as ASEAN chair to block the inclusion of any mention of the South China Sea maritime disputes in the joint communiqué at the end of the meeting, resulting in the organization’s first-ever failure to release such a document.

That failure cast significant doubt on ASEAN’s ability to evolve and tackle tough issues. It also caused troubling allegations, especially from Vietnam and the Philippines, that Cambodia had placed its close relationship with China above the interests of its fellow ASEAN members. All the damage wrought in July will not be fixed in three days in November. But if the EAS goes demonstrably better than the AMM did, Cambodia’s image will have a chance to recover and some of the ASEAN skeptics will be quieted. A successful EAS, and by extension a stronger regional framework in the Asia Pacific, is in the interests of all EAS members, including the United States. The key will be supporting Cambodia as an effective chair.

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