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PacNet #3 – Comparative Connections Summary

January 13, 2012

It’s been an Asia-centric four months. The US proclaimed America’s "pivot" toward Asia, while North Korea faced a pivotal moment following the death of Kim Jong Il. President Obama conducted a broad swing through the region in November, starting in Honolulu where he hosted the APEC Leaders’ Meeting before pivoting first to Australia, where he announced a plan to begin rotating US Marines through Darwin, and then on to Indonesia, where he became the first US president to participate in the East Asia Summit. Even more pivotal was Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit to Burma/Myanmar. While geopolitics was at the forefront for the US, regional governments were focused on economic developments. China, Japan, and South Korea continue their march toward deeper integration. The Asia-Pacific region should set the pace for global growth, but the many transitions of 2012 will introduce considerable uncertainty.