President Obama's final Asia tour marks record of engagement in Southeast Asia


Flickr DOS East Asia Summit
U.S. President Barack Obama participates in a meeting at the East Asia Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, in November 2012.
Photo credit: 
Flickr/Department of State – William Ng

Donald Emmerson joined KQED’s radioshow “Forum” to discuss U.S. President Barack Obama’s final trip to Asia, where the president met with world leaders in various forums including the G-20 in Hangzhou and, in Vientiane, the East Asia Summit among other meetings related to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Emmerson, who directs the Southeast Asia Program at the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, said the tour represented Obama’s commitment to a vision of U.S. engagement in the region and to supporting multilateral institutions—cornerstones of the administration’s “pivot to Asia” strategy.

“No American president has ever had the kind of interaction with Southeast Asia that President Obama has,” said Emmerson, noting the president’s frequent visits to the region and many sessions with its leaders.

Along with three other guests on the show, Emmerson also responded to questions on North Korea and the territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

Listen to the full program here.