Four important news developments in Asia from this week and one key event to keep an eye out for next week.
1. Philippine President Benigno Aquino paid a visit to the United States and had his first meeting with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office earlier this afternoon. Both sides discussed strengthening military and economic ties. The Philippines is the U.S.’ oldest treaty ally in Asia. For more, see our Critical Questions here and blog post here.
2. The Shangri-La Dialogue concluded on Sunday in Singapore with U.S. officials making several follow-up trips to countries around Asia. Among the highlights from the dialogue that played out over the course of the week were China’s downgrading of its representation at the meeting and Defense Secretary Panetta’s articulation of the Obama administration’s rebalance to Asia. Several CSIS scholars weighed in on the dialogue and related trips, including Bonnie Glaser, Ernie Bower, and Ralph Cossa.
3. A stalemate continued between the United States and South Korea over the terms of a renewal of a civilian nuclear cooperation agreement. Republican lawmakers are urging an early renewal of the pact which expires in 2014. But while South Korea wants to change the agreement to allow for more flexibility, the Obama administration appears unwilling to do so. South Korean and U.S. defense and foreign ministers will hold a “two-plus-two” meeting in Washington next week. CSIS’ Victor Cha discussed what’s next for the U.S.-Korea alliance in his congressional testimony earlier this week.
4. Japan’s ambassador to China Uichiro Niwa slammed Tokyo’s nationalist governor Shintaro Ishihara for the latter’s who plans to buy the disputed Senkaku Islands. China has previously called the governor’s remarks on the disputed islands “irresponsible”
5. Next week, India and the United States will hold their third annual India-US Strategic Dialogue in Washington led by Indian External Affairs Minister SM Krishna and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. A series of high-level official and non-official meetings have also been scheduled. In light of this, Sameer Punyani’s cogitASIA post discusses how New Delhi can improve its economy to boost prospects for US-India cooperation. CSIS will also host an event on the US-India defense trade on June 13, the same day that the dialogue will be held.