Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Henry J. Hyde, Chairman

CONTACT: Sam Stratman, (202) 226-7875, September 20, 2005

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U.S. & Southeast Asia:
Developments, Trends, and Policy Choices

Leach Schedules Wednesday Hearing to Examine Issues

BACKGROUND: Southeast Asia remains the nexus of important political, economic, and strategic interests for the United States.  Two of the most pressing issues for American policy in the region are:

(1) the conflict with violent radical Islamist extremists (particularly in Indonesia, Malaysia, the southern Philippines, and potentially southern Thailand); and (2) the growing influence of China. It appears that terrorist group Jemaah Islamiya’s (JI) operational capabilities have been degraded by counterterrorist actions of regional states. China has significantly altered its approach to Southeast Asia. Where it was once the sponsor of communist insurgencies and confrontational about territorial disputes in the South China Sea, it has in more recent years focused on cooperative diplomacy and rapidly expanding trade with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). This approach has led to increasing focus on the China-led East Asian Summit scheduled for December 2005 in Kuala Lumpur, to which the U.S. has not been invited. Some observers view the summit as an attempt to place China at the center of regional geopolitical dynamics. There is debate over whether the U.S. is threatened by China’s new approach, and many will be watching the extent to which China seeks to marginalize or displace America’s presence in the region. 

WHAT:                                     Subcommittee Hearing:
                                                  The United States and Southeast Asia: Developments, Trends, and Policy Choices

U.S. Rep. James A. Leach (R-IA), Chairman

WHEN:                                    10:30 a.m., Wednesday, September 21, 2005

WHERE:                                  Room 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

WITNESS:                               Eric John,
                                                  Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, U.S. Department of State

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