1) What will be discussed with Hanoi?
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will stop in Vietnam before heading to Laos where she will become the first top US diplomat to visit the country in 57 years.
Ahead of the talks in Cambodia with ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and China, what will be the discussion topics between Secretary Clinton and perhaps her counterpart in Hanoi? There is no official release about whom she will meet in Hanoi or what she will discuss with Vietnam.
However, based on recent heated escalations between Vietnam and China in the dispute in East Sea, one might make an educated guess that the discussion will be Washington’s position on the dispute, what support (if any) Hanoi may count on the US in its battle against its bully neighbor, China.
2) ASEAN Regional Forum—China and North Korea issues
ASEAN Regional (Security) Forum will be held July 12 in Phnom Penh. China and North Korea are expected to participate—as these 2 countries are the causes of the most concerned security issues in the area.
China with its ridiculous claim in the East Sea has created increased tensions with Vietnam and Philippines.
Quotes from voanews.com: “The United States’ interest in the South China Sea is to see that international law is followed and that ASEAN claimant states and that ASEAN as well enter into peaceful discussions with China and among themselves,” said David Carden, US ambassador to ASEAN.
The latest move by Beijing to invite foreign companies to bid for oil exploration in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone has not only caused angry from Vietnam but also drawn criticisms from US Senator Lieberman and others.
And then there is…North Korea—a puppet of China—with its nuclear weapons and missile programs. Everyone probably knows that North Korea is doing the missile testing for China. North Korean is no doubt posing a dangerous situation in Asia. Obama administration has not been able to control North Korea. Last month, US Congress stopped food aid to North Korea. It has made no difference—starving North Koreans are no concerns of Pyongyang and Beijing.
3) What to expect?
What not to expect is any resolution to China and North Korea issues at all.
China is in the transition of power from Hu Jintao to Xi Jinping.
The US is in the middle of the presidential re-election process.
One should not expect a miracle to be pulled out of the air from the Obama administration to solve China and North Korea issues between now and the election.
Will Obama and Xi make a difference next year—quite doubtful?
Will Romney and Xi make a difference next year—very interesting?