In an Asia Pacific Bulletin released today by the East-West Center, Catharin Dalpino says that despite the issues surrounding its preparation, the second US-ASEAN Leaders Meeting was a milepost in “the very real advances in US-ASEAN relations in recent years.” She writes:
Perhaps the most significant achievement of the second US-ASEAN Leaders Meeting co-chaired by the United States and Vietnam on September 24 was that it happened at all. For several months, the timing and venue of the event were a source of debate and concern. As the 2010 chair of ASEAN, Vietnam extended an invitation to President Obama to visit Hanoi and to conduct the second US-ASEAN summit there. However, Obama’s crowded Asia travel schedule this year, which includes Japan, South Korea, India, and a long-delayed visit to Indonesia, cast doubt on that prospect from the beginning. When it became clear that the meeting would be held in the United States, the choice was between Washington, where US-ASEAN relations would register a higher profile, and New York City, where many ASEAN heads of state had already been scheduled for the United Nations General Assembly.
Read the full publication here (PDF).