Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Senator Webb: ASEAN Forum comes at “pivotal moment” for Southeast Asia



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Senator Webb: ASEAN Forum comes at “pivotal moment” for Southeast Asia


July 18, 2011


Senator Jim Webb, chair of the Senate East Asian and Pacific Affairs Subcommittee, issued the following statement regarding the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum this week in Bali, Indonesia.

“The ASEAN Regional Forum comes at a pivotal moment for U.S. relations with Southeast Asia,” said Senator Webb. “The recent provocations by China against the Philippines and Vietnam in the South China Sea, the political transitions in Thailand and Burma, and the threat of hydropower dams along the Mekong River underscore the need for vigorous multilateral engagement and the development of new strategic relationships in the region.

“As one who has spent much of his life with a strong connection to Southeast Asia, I strongly support the deepening relations between the U.S. and the members of ASEAN. Through our multilateral cooperation, we can contribute significantly to the stability of the region and to the development of democratic institutions and transparent economic policies.”

In September 2010, Senator Webb and Senate Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry introduced S. Res. 640 supporting U.S. efforts to engage with ASEAN and its member-states. It was approved unanimously by the Senate.

Senator Webb has worked and traveled throughout East Asia and Southeast Asia for more than four decades—as a Marine Corps Officer, a defense planner, a journalist, a novelist, a senior official in the Department of Defense, Secretary of the Navy, and as a business consultant. His East Asian and Pacific Affairs Subcommittee oversees regional organizations such as ASEAN, and as a Senator, he has visited six of the 10 ASEAN member nations.


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