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Archive for the ‘US Mission ASEAN’ Category

30th September 2013

Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul in conjunction with his ASEAN counterparts as well as US Secretary of State John Kerry discussed the American relationship with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at the Informal ASEAN-US Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. The informal Ministers’ Meeting was conducted while the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly was held in New York City, the Thai Government Public Relations Office reported.

The Thai Foreign Minister noted his approval of efforts being made in the United States to encourage green energy initiatives as such programs could prove beneficial in the Southeast Asia region especially as climate change becomes an increasingly important concern. The Foreign Minister also appears to have commented positively regarding American efforts with respect to Syria citing his desire to see a political solution to those issues being promulgated through a forthcoming United Nations Security Council resolution. It should be noted that, Thailand has officially stated its intention to seek a non-permanent seat on an upcoming UN Security Council. Meanwhile, The Foreign Minister also pointed out the significant positive impact that the United States has on the ASEAN region as cooperative efforts between the United States and the jurisdictions which comprise ASEAN have resulted in greater security and economic gains for all parties concerned.

The US-ASEAN Expanded Economic Engagement Initiative was cited as a particularly encouraging development which could result in further trade and foreign investment for the ASEAN region. The Lower Mekong Initiative was also noted as a program which has improved the region academically, agriculturally, and environmentally. The Foreign Minister also urged the United States to assist in improving regional law enforcement capabilities by further mutual cooperation and increased training. One method of increasing training capability would be through establishment of a series of International Law Enforcement Academies

Further US-ASEAN cooperation could also lead to better security for the Southeast Asia region. The Foreign Minister noted that further ASEAN-US cooperation in the realm of cyber security may assist in inoculating the region from dangers arising in cyber space. The Foreign Minister also expressed his desire to see the United States continue its support for ASEAN’s endeavor to see an expeditious completion of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea.

Relations between the United States and ASEAN have become of recent interest to many who follow foreign policy issues. As ASEAN’s eventual economic integration draws nearer the United States seems to acutely realize that there is a strong prospect of future benefits which may be derived from substantial ties to the region.

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16th January 2012

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that Apple Inc. and the Korean firm Samsung are apparently working in cooperation in order to fashion the next generation of PC tablets. In order to provide further insight it is necessary to quote directly from The Korea Herald via the Asia News Network:

Apple Inc’s chief operating officer Tim Cook discussed adopting Samsung’s AMOLED display technology for tablet PCs during his recent visit to South Korea, industry sources said…Tim Cook is not only the COO, but also acting CEO of Apple. During Cook’s trip last week, Apple seems to have offered Samsung an advance for the AMOLED displays, the source said…

It is recommended by the administration of this blog that readers click upon the hyperlinks noted above to read this article in further detail.

As technology continues to be a defining component of a more dynamic global economy there is hope that cooperation between American and Asian technology firms will result in further technological as well as economic advances. Concurrently, such cooperation is likely to also manifest itself in the form of better computing platforms for the general public.

It is interesting to note that while Northern Asia, especially Northeastern Asia has seen industrial advances the Southeast Asian region continues to show growth in the agricultural sector. This has arguably been the case in the Kingdom of Thailand for quite some time. However, there seems to be evidence to indicate that agricultural growth is expanding into the neighboring countries, such as Cambodia, which also happen to be members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Most notably, it would appear that a company in the Kingdom of Thailand is poised to undertake a new venture in the Kingdom of Cambodia with the aim of increasing rice production therein. For further elucidation this blogger must quote directly from the official website of The Bangkok Post:

Asia Golden Rice Co, Thailand’s second-largest rice exporter, has mapped out a 1.5-billion-baht rice investment in Cambodia in a bid to expand regionally…The plan includes modern, fully equipped milling and processing plants with a capacity to process up to one million tonnes of rice per year, and is considered a milestone investment in rice industry of Cambodia, the world’s sixth largest rice exporter…

It is once again recommended that readers click upon the hyperlinks noted above to read further on these developments in detail.

The overall ramifications of this plan remain to be seen. That stated, there is certainly room for speculation that a venture such as the one described above could have positive benefits for ASEAN as well as Asia as a whole. Since many countries around the globe import rice from Southeast Asia one could surmise that increased production could drive down the cost of rice internationally and thereby benefit rice consumers around the world.

For related information please see: ASEAN.

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12th January 2012

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand made no comment regarding the possibility of a Cabinet reshuffle although she did note that attendance at upcoming children’s day festivities is apparently encouraged by the Thai government. To quote directly from the official website of the Thai-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) News Network at Tannetwork.tv:

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra avoided answering questions about a possible Cabinet reshuffle today and only smiled at reporters...The PM added that she would like to invite children to attend the Children’s Day celebration on Saturday at Government House as she has prepared some surprises for the kids…”

Concurrently it also came to this blogger’s attention that the government of Canada seems to have made some comments regarding same sex marriages performed in that nation. To quote directly from the website Advocate.com:

“Thousands of non-resident same-sex couples married in Canada may not be legally wed if the marriage is not recognized in their home country or state, according to the Canadian government…”

The issues surrounding the status of same sex couples has been an issue of debate in the United States of America especially as the Presidential elections continue to draw closer. However, politics does not appear to be the core concern of those who are the most effected by these issues. For example, those families wishing to maintain a same sex bi-national relationship with a non-American in the United States could be deeply impacted by both American and Canadian policy regarding same sex marriage. This issue could further be hypothetically defined where the same sex marriage (or civil union depending upon the jurisdiction) takes place outside of the United States as such a fact pattern could place the merits of the marriage under the purview of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). How this issue will ultimately be resolved in North America remains to be seen, there is one thing that seems to be a certainty: this issue is not one that will simply disappear since there are many in the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) Community who wish to see full equality in matters reflecting their marital status. American Courts have dealt with this issue in recent months although a definitive decision does not seem to have been reached hopefully this issue will be resolved in short order.

For related information please see: Full Faith and Credit Clause.

For general legal information pertaining to South East Asia please: Legal.

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15th August 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that a senior American diplomat was recently noted for discussing matters pertaining to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Asia-Pacific region. In order to provide further insight into these developments it is necessary to quote directly from the DAWN website, DAWN.com:

Kurt Campbell, the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, added in an interview with The Australian newspaper that there was more to US-Asia diplomacy than Washington’s relationship with Beijing. “One of the most important challenges for US foreign policy is to effect a transition from the immediate and vexing challenges of the Middle East to the long-term and deeply consequential issues in Asia,” Campbell said. He made clear this did not mean Washington would neglect its responsibilities in the Middle East, but was rather a desire to deepen relations with the Asian region. And while efforts were being made to enhance Washington’s dialogue with China, it was more than just relations with Beijing that were important. “I think what you see is an across-the-board effort (by the US) to articulate India as playing a greater role in Asia,” said Campbell, a key aide to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton…

This blogger asks readers to click on the hyperlinks noted above to read this interesting article in detail.

It was interesting for this blogger to note that there appears to be something of a shift in attitude toward the ASEAN region as Asia in general is viewed as playing an increasingly important role in the global economy. As the Asia-Pacific and ASEAN regions continue to show signs of future growth it stands to reason that countries such as China and India, or any of the so-called BRICS countries for that matter, will become economically more connected to the geographic area. Meanwhile, hopefully American policies in the region will be such that further Asian-American trade and business is generated.

In matters related to American immigration, it recently came to this blogger’s attention that the American Bar Association has recently made resolutions regarding the unlicensed practice of law in an immigration context. In order to provide further details on these developments it is necessary to quote directly from the official website of Law Professor Blogs, LawProfessorBlogs.com:

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association supports measures to combat the unauthorized practice of immigration law (UPIL) and immigration practitioner fraud.
FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association encourages federal, state, and local governments to adopt laws that:
(a) Create a private right of action for victims of UPIL or immigration practitioner fraud.
(b) Provide criminal penalties for engaging in UPIL or immigration practitioner fraud that would give federal and state authorities the right to investigate and prosecute those engaging in UPIL or immigration practitioner fraud.
FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Justice (DOJ) Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) to make accommodations for victims of immigration practitioner fraud, including:
(a) Allowing the withdrawal without prejudice of submissions in cases in which a noncitizen can establish that his or her immigration filings were created or submitted by an individual engaged in UPIL or immigration fraud or alternatively, developing a means for submitting corrected filings which will supersede the documents previously filed.
(b) Allowing the U non-immigrant visa to be available for victims of immigration fraud who cooperate with federal, state, or local law enforcement, as well as state bars…

The administration of this web log asks readers to click upon the relevant hyperlinks noted above to read these resolutions in detail.

Clearly the ABA is taking policy stances in an attempt to reverse the trend of unlicensed legal practitioners preying upon an unsuspecting public in immigration matters. As previously noted in the pages of this web log, those seeking advice and counsel regarding US visa matters are well advised to check the credentials of anyone claiming qualification to practice American immigration law as only a licensed American attorney is permitted to accept client fees in order to engage in the practice of American law. Hopefully, policies will be officially promulgated to address the problem of unscrupulous individuals and organizations defrauding the public.

For information related to legal services in Southeast Asia please see: Legal.

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11th August 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that officials from the jurisdictions which comprise the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are being encouraged to implement the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Blueprint. In order to provide further insight into these developments it is necessary to quote directly from a fascinating article posted to the Live Trading News website, LiveTradingNews.com:

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Wednesday was urged to implement the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Blueprint 2015 timely. “This year’s ASEAN Economic Ministerial meeting takes place at a critical juncture when there is so much uncertainty about the global economy given the fiscal situations in the United States and members of the European Union. From Indonesia’s perspective, it is imperative that ASEAN implements the AEC Blueprint 2015 on time as this will bring benefits to all of its members and allow ASEAN to grow together with our dialogue partners,” said Indonesian Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu…

Readers are encouraged to click upon the relevant hyperlinks noted above to read this article in detail.

Those who read this web log with any frequency may be aware of the fact that there have been many significant developments pertaining to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). One major announcement, from this blogger’s perspective, was the broaching of the subject of a possibly unified ASEAN visa similar to the Schengen visa scheme currently utilized in Europe. Concurrently, in the context of the Kingdom of Thailand; there has been discussion surrounding the idea of creating Thailand Plazas throughout the ASEAN jurisdictions in order to promote Thai business interests in the region. With respect to geopolitics, ASEAN has been in the news recently as this organization seems poised to eventually promulgate a formal declaration with respect to freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. How such matters will ultimately evolve remains to be seen.

In news pertaining to United States immigration, it recently came to this blogger’s attention that the Governor of the sovereign State of Arizona has petitioned for Supreme Court review of that State’s recently enacted immigration law. In order to provide further insight it is necessary to quote directly from the official website of Politico, Politico.com:

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer announced late Wednesday she has filed a petition asking the Supreme Court to consider her state’s appeal to a lower court ruling that put on hold key parts of Arizona’s anti-illegal immigration law. “I am hopeful that the U.S. Supreme Court will choose to take this case and issue much-needed clarity for states, such as Arizona, that are grappling with the significant human and financial costs of illegal immigration,” Brewer said in a statement released by her office. “For too long the Federal government has turned a blind eye as this problem has manifested itself in the form of drop houses in our neighborhoods and crime in our communities. SB1070 was Arizona’s way of saying that we won’t wait patiently for federal action any longer. If the federal government won’t enforce its immigration laws, we will.” Brewer, a Republican, vowed this spring to take the case to the high court after a ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejecting her motion to throw out a district court’s ruling that blocked implementation of parts of the law. The deadline to do so was Wednesday…

This blogger asks interested readers to click upon the relevant links above to read this article in detail.

As noted previously on this web log, the powers related to immigration and often wielded by the federal legislature and the federal executive are plenary in nature as immigration is one of the relatively few areas in which the United States federal government maintains virtually unfettered seemingly exclusive jurisdiction. That stated, how said jurisdiction interrelates with reserved States’ Rights and prerogatives is an interesting and almost interminably unsettled question. Hopefully, the Supreme Court of the United States can provide insight into these issues and possibly delineate a framework which will facilitate a better understanding of all of these issues and their interaction within the context of the United States Constitution.

For information related to US immigration from the Kingdom of Thailand please see: K1 Visa Thailand.

For information pertaining to general legal services in Southeast Asia please see: Legal.

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15th July 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the upcoming ASEAN Ministerial meeting in Bali, Indonesia will discuss the notion of something akin to an ASEAN Schengen-like visa. In order to provide further insight into these matters it is probably best to quote directly from the official website of the Thai News Agency MCOT, MCOT.net:

Jakarta, July 14 (ANTARA) – Indonesia is to bring up the issue of instituting a joint ASEAN visa system at an ASEAN ministerial meeting (AMM) next July 16-23, a minister said. “The idea to adopt a joint ASEAN visa system for visitors from outside the ASEAN region will be discussed during a ministerial meeting in Bali. The concept of a joint visa system will resemble the Schengen visa system adhered to by some European countries,” Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said here Thursday… Earlier, the ASEAN Tourism Association (ASEANTA) comprised of member tourism organization from the 10-member nations of ASEAN, is busy lobbying their respective governments to adopt a policy of a single visa valid for all ten countries as a critical step of turning ASEAN into a single tourism destination…

The administration of this web log strongly encourages readers to click upon the hyperlinks noted above to delve further into the details of these currently unfolding events.

Readers may recall that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is composed of the ten members nations Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam which are becoming increasingly vibrant in the overall spectrum of the global economy. Furthermore, there is an increasing amount of trade transpiring throughout Asia. Much of this trade occurs between ASEAN jurisdictions or between ASEAN countries and jurisdictions such as the United States of America, the so-called BRICS Nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), or the Greater Asia-Pacific region. Therefore, it is not an overestimate to surmise that the ramifications of the creation of some type of pan-ASEAN visa or similar travel document would, at the least, be a step toward possible further streamlining of tourism and trade in the ASEAN region.

This news comes at a relatively contemporaneous moment with that of news that discussions in Bali may also revolve around recent discussions pertaining to the South China Sea. In order to provide further insight into these developments it may be best to quote directly from the official website of The Mainichi Daily News, Mainichi.jp:

JAKARTA (Kyodo) — The 44th meeting of foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asia Nations in Bali next week is expected to bring the regional grouping and China closer step to finalizing of a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea, according to a draft of joint communique of the meeting seen Wednesday. The draft obtained by Kyodo News shows ASEAN and China, one of the group’s dialogue partners, have begun discussion on the Code of Conduct “by building upon the momentum of the 20th anniversary of ASEAN-China dialogue relations” which falls this year…In the same draft, both sides are also expected to repeat the calls on all parties to respect the freedom of navigation in and over-flight above the South China Sea as provided for by the principles of international law…

The reader is again asked to click upon the hyperlinks noted above to read further from this insightful article.

With this news coming upon the heels of a recent trip by the Chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff to China and the announcement that United States President Barack Obama is scheduled to attend the upcoming meeting in Bali it is not a difficult inference to make the conclusion that discussions at the upcoming meeting could result in substantial economic, political, and legal benefits for all concerned.

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26th June 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the United States Customs and Border Protection Service (USCBP) may have witnessed what would appear to have been an inadvertent breach of the American border by a convoy of Mexican troops. In order to provide further insight into these developments it may be prudent to quote directly from the official website of the NBC affiliate KGNS-TV at Pro8News.com:

A convoy of three military trucks loaded with Mexican soldiers crosses the border at Bridge Number Two clearly violating  international law. It happens as Customs and Border Protection inspectors try to figure out what to do. A CBP spokesperson says they got on the phone with Mexican authorities after being alerted that the military trucks were heading their direction loaded down with soldiers and weapons. Mexican leaders say the soldiers, who had just been deployed to Nuevo Laredo, didn’t know the area, got lost and then made their way through Bridge Two. It’s important to note that CBP did not tell us about the potentially serious situation. It came from another law enforcement agency…

This blogger strongly encourages readers to click upon the relevant hyperlinks noted above to learn more from this informative article as well as the video coverage of this event.

Readers may be taken somewhat aback upon learning of some of these events as it is not everyday that Americans see such developments. That stated, this blogger would feel somewhat remiss if he failed to bring up a  similar incident which occurred in Spain a little over 9 years ago, if only to provide some perspective. To quote directly from a 2002 article posted on the official website of CNN, CNN.com:

British troops temporarily invaded Spain when a landing exercise on Gibraltar went wrong. About 20 Royal Marines landed in bad weather on a Spanish beach, thinking they were on British territory. They hastily retreated after locals told them of their error… Spain’s foreign ministry played down the incident as a harmless error that would not undermine negotiations aimed at resolving the Gibraltar issue…

Those interested in the full details of the aforementioned event are encouraged to click upon the relevant hyperlinks noted above to ascertain the whole story.

Clearly, even in an international context, accidents can happen. Inadvertent mistakes can occur. Hopefully these events will be a lesson to America’s public servants about the need to anticipate unexpected events. This blogger must state that in all of his rather limited dealings with USCBP personnel they have comported themselves in a very professional manner. To be candid, USCBP has one of the more difficult jobs in all of the pantheon of American civil service as their responsibilities place USCBP officers in situations where they encounter the most unexpected events (as can be seen from the aforementioned quotation). It is likely hoped that these circumstances will provide insight to future officers. On a side note: unless there has been some very recent change of which this blogger is unaware, the United States Customs and Border Protection Service (USCBP) currently chairs the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Sub-committee on Customs Procedures. This post was handed off from the Japan Customs and Tariff Bureau in September of last year.

In somewhat related news it recently came to this blogger’s attention that the Foreign Minister of Singapore has noted his belief that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) may have a role in dealing with tensions arising in the South China Sea. To quote directly from the website of Channel News Asia, ChannelNewsAsia.com:

INDONESIA: Singapore said ASEAN can play a role managing territorial disputes in the South China Sea. The resource rich waters are being claimed – in part or all – by a number of ASEAN countries, as well as China and Taiwan. Tensions recently escalated between the Philippines and China over overlapping claims. Singapore’s Foreign Minister K Shanmugam said all parties must learn to resolve these occasional incidences, without increasing tension…

The administration of this web log asks readers to click upon the appropriate hyperlinks above to read this story in detail.

Clearly, the nations which compose ASEAN (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam) are going to be increasingly important in any international dialogue pertaining to the South China Sea. The news noted above comes amidst developing news regarding talks between the United States and China. It would appear as though one of the main objectives of these talks is the maintenance of freedom of navigation at sea. However, maintaining such freedom can often require timely discussions especially in geographic areas with a history of tension. To quote further from ChannelNewsAsia.com:

HONOLULU, Hawaii : The United States and China were holding first-of-a-kind talks Saturday on rising tensions in the South China Sea, with Beijing angry over Washington’s support of Southeast Asian countries. Senior officials of the Pacific powers were meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii, days after the United States rallied behind the Philippines and Vietnam which have been alarmed at what they see as Beijing’s growing assertiveness at sea. Kurt Campbell, the US assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, said ahead of the talks that he would make clear to China the “strong principles” of the United States in defence of freedom of navigation…[sic]

This blogger encourages readers to click upon the hyperlinks above to learn more.

Disputes occurring on the high seas can sometimes have implications for virtually every country around the world. As Southeast Asian nations continue to thrive and expand both in a domestic economic context as well as in an international economic context it stands to reason that their growth may be concerning to other jurisdictions in Asia. Meanwhile, the increasing prominence of the so-called BRICS countries in an international context has raised discussion regarding the geopolitical complexion of the future global economy. Hopefully, discussions pertaining to all of these matters will yield tangible benefits for the people who could be most impacted by events occurring in this region.

For information about conducting business in the United States of America please see: US Company Registration.

For information about legal services in Southeast Asia please see: Legal.

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19th June 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the nations of China and India have made arrangements to resume military exchanges. In order to provide further insight to the reader it may be best to quote directly from the Associated Press on the official website of Yahoo, Yahoo.com:

BEIJING – An Indian general led a delegation to Beijing on Sunday as the two countries moved to resume exchanges between their militaries after a yearlong freeze. Maj. Gen. Gurmeet Singh and seven accompanying officers arrived in Beijing on Sunday for a weeklong visit that will also include meetings with Chinese counterparts and stops in the business and shipping hub of Shanghai and the far-northwestern territory of Xinjiang. Such exchanges were suspended by India last year in protest over China’s decision to issue visas to Indians from disputed Kashmir in the form of a document stapled into their passports rather than a stamp. The decision appeared to question the legitimacy of Indian rule in Kashmir and was considered a concession to Pakistan, India’s arch rival with which China maintains close ties…

Readers are encouraged to click upon the hyperlinks noted above to read this story in full.

It is not difficult to infer that a resumption of military exchanges between China and India could have ramifications for virtually all countries around the world, at least to some degree. This is certainly important information for those who live in either India or China. The same could also be said for those living in Greater Asia as the resumption of military exchanges could have an impact upon the geopolitics of the whole continent. Meanwhile, those living in one of the jurisdictions which comprise the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are prudent to note these developments as both of these countries are likely to be increasingly important trading partners with that organization in the future. Furthermore, it should be noted that China and India are currently associated with the so-called BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) grouping of countries which many consider to be of increasing importance on the world stage.

With ASEAN in mind, the reader should note that China and India are not the only jurisdictions that are engaging in military exchanges as it recently came to this blogger’s attention that the United States Navy is conducting a naval exercise in conjunction with some of the ASEAN member states. To quote directly from an article written by Gilbert P. Felongco and posted on the official website of GulfNews.com:

Manila: The US Navy is conducting a naval exercise with its forces from the five member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) amid rising tensions in the troubled South China Sea. Dubbed the Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (Seacat) 2011, the drills were launched last Tuesday in the Malacca Strait, Sulu Sea and Celebes Sea and will run until Friday…The drills will focus on real-time information exchange, coordinated surveillance operations, tracking, and eventual conduct of visit, board, search and seizure operation, he said…

Those reading this web log are strongly encouraged to click upon the relevant hyperlinks noted above to learn more on this developing story.

The United States Armed Forces have been known to conduct exercises in many places and it would appear that the exercise noted above is designed to coordinate efforts between ASEAN members and the United States. Readers in the Kingdom of Thailand may note that the United States routinely works with the Thai military in undertaking exercises such as Operation Cobra Gold. Hopefully all such endeavors will accrue to the benefit of all concerned in the USA, Thailand, ASEAN, China, India, and Greater Asia.

For information related to doing business in Thailand please see: Legal.

 

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9th June 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the Supreme Court of the sovereign State of New Jersey has handed down a decision which appears to differentiate between message boards and “mainstream” journalists. To cast further light upon this issue it may be best to quote directly from Yahoo News at Yahoo.com:

TRENTON, N.J. – The New Jersey Supreme Court says people posting in online message boards don’t have the same protections for sources as mainstream journalists. The court ruled Tuesday that New Jersey’s shield law for journalists does not apply to such message boards…New Jersey’s highest court says online message boards are little more than forums for discussion and don’t fit the definition of news media as described by the law.

The administration of this web log asks readers to click upon the relevant hyperlinks noted above to read this story in full to gain further context.

As the so-called “alternative media” or “new media” continues to thrive and grow it stands to reason that US Courts will be hearing cases which place something of a new spin upon long-held notions pertaining to journalism and the press. It is this blogger’s opinion that the above case is not the “last word” on this topic as it seems likely that further cases in the future could possibly speak to this issue as well. Readers are encouraged to conduct their own research to keep abreast of such matters.

Meanwhile, the United States Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was recently noted for his optimistic outlook for the ASEAN-American relationship, to quote directly from the official website of VIVA News, VIVANews.com:

I know you will agree that a peaceful, prosperous, and more integrated Southeast Asia is good for the world, the United States and for American business. As the United States’ fourth largest export market, ASEAN provides remarkable opportunity. Our presence and support now for this dynamic region of 580 million people will help ensure markets for U.S. goods and services for decades. We just concluded the 24th ASEAN-U.S. Dialogue last week—a gathering of more than 70 U.S. and ASEAN senior officials to discuss a range of issues. The message from the Dialogue is clear: The U.S.-ASEAN relationship is deepening and opportunities exist.

This blogger encourages readers to click on the relevant links above to read this in further detail.

Clearly, there are going to be further business opportunities in the jurisdictions (including the Kingdom of Thailand and the Kingdom of Cambodia) which comprise ASEAN. As these opportunities arise it is hoped that America can maximize the beneficial aspects of such developments. If the readership of this blog is as uninformed as this blogger (and he must sheepishly admit that he was not aware of this recent  development), then it comes as a surprise that there is an American Ambassador to ASEAN. In order to explain further it may be best to quote from a more informed source. Namely: the official website of The Irrawaddy, Irrawaddy.com:

David Lee Carden, a former attorney who has been named the first US ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), will attend the Asean Summit in Indonesia next week…

The administration very strongly recommends that readers click upon the relevant hyperlinks noted above to read that insightful article in full. To cast further light upon the appointment of a US Ambassador to ASEAN it may be best to quote directly from a posting dated April 26, 2011 from the official website of the US Mission to ASEAN:

In a ceremony today at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, H.E. David Lee Carden, the United States’ first resident Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, presented his credentials to ASEAN Secretary-General Dr. Surin Pitsuwan. Dr. Surin will transmit Ambassador Carden’s credentials to ASEAN foreign ministers via the ASEAN Committee of Permanent Representatives in Jakarta.

To view the official homepage of the US Mission to ASEAN please click: HERE.

Clearly, America is committed to a strong ASEAN-American relationship as evidenced by the posting of an Ambassador. This development, in this blogger’s opinion, is not without good reason as ASEAN’s future economic potential is, well, rather staggering. This is especially true when considering the possible refractive benefits which could accrue to ASEAN from the potentially massive growth in the economies of, in, and around India and China. Hopefully, strong ASEAN-American relations will result in political and economic benefits for all concerned.

For related information please see: US Embassy Thailand.

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