From World Socialist Web Site - November 20
Just two weeks after securing his second term, President Obama’s first overseas tour—to South East Asia—underscores his determination to aggressively pursue his administration’s so-called pivot to Asia. Over three days, Obama has visited Thailand, Burma (Myanmar) and Cambodia, where he will attend the East Asia Forum hosted by the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).
The political and strategic significance of Obama’s trip is underscored by the fact that it is the first by a sitting American president to Burma and the first by a US president ever to Cambodia. While the timing was largely determined by the ASEAN summit, the US focus on South East Asia is part of a broader diplomatic offensive aimed at undermining China’s position throughout Asia.
All three countries, especially Burma and Cambodia, have had close economic and military ties with China. Obama’s visit is aimed at consolidating US efforts to entice, pressure and bully these countries to distance themselves from Beijing and engage more closely with Washington, especially militarily.