asia pacific

So Philippine and American officials formally inked a basing agreement during President Obama’s visit to the archipelago. Rather than reestablish permanent bases, the deal will allow U.S. military units to rotate through three to five Philippine facilities — the details are still being sorted out — and to stage equipment and munitions there for combat and disaster-relief missions. Huzzah!

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang started an Africa tour on Sunday with his arrival in Ethiopia, where he will also visit the headquarters of the African Union (AU). Ethiopia is the first leg of Li's ongoing four-nation Africa tour, his first to the "Land of Hope" since he took office last year and the latest stroke of the frequent high-level diplomacy between the Asian giant and the promising continent.

In February, the United Nations released a remarkably comprehensive report on North Korea's human rights abuses. The report interviewed 320 people, including a number of survivors from the notorious secret political system, and concluded that the country was committing human rights violations “without any parallel in the contemporary world.”

From April 22 to April 29, U.S. President Barack Obama visited Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, and the Philippines in what many observers called an attempt to solidify his administration’s “rebalance to Asia.” The Diplomat spoke with Dr. Jonathan Pollack, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, about Obama’s goals for the trip, and the major events at each of his stops.

On Friday the Pacific Realist had the opportunity to participate in a panel discussion on applying American power that was hosted by the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security. The other panelists were Brent Scowcroft Center Director Barry Pavel; Jones Group International Senior Associate Jeff Lightfoot; RAND Political Scientist Stacie Pettyjohn; andJohn Hudson, a staff writer for Foreign Policy and one of The Cable guys, who moderated the conversation.

President Barack Obama has said the US and Malaysia are at the start of a "new era of partnership", on the second day of his official visit. Obama was speaking at a state banquet with Malaysian King Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah. He is due to meet Prime Minister Najib Razak later. It is the first such visit by a serving US president for nearly 50 years.

In November 2011, Barack Obama told the Australian parliament that the United States was embarking on a major shift in its foreign policy—with a pivot to Asia. “After a decade in which we fought two wars that cost us dearly, in blood and treasure,” he said, “the United States is turning our attention to the vast potential of the Asia Pacific region.”

Former Vice President Al Gore told a crowd at the University of Hawaii on April 15 that using fake science to mislead the public on climate change is "immoral, unethical, and despicable." Currently on a weeklong trip to Asia, President Barack Obama can probably sympathize, as he faces a cadre of skeptics committed to the idea that one of his leading foreign policy priorities -- the pivot to Asia -- is somehow an illusion.