ASEAN Regional Forum 2011: China and the United States
Asia Pacific Bulletin, No. 127
Washington, D.C.: East-West Center
Perceptions often determine reality. The fact is that US meetings and statements at this year's ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) hosted in Bali—a meeting of 27 Asia-Pacific and other global foreign ministers—were more predictable theater, but with little new substance. There was the usual rhetorical reassurance of the US commitment to Southeast Asia, yet other than the role of the United States as a counterweight to a phobia of Chinese dominance, the United States brought nothing new to the table. Meidyatmana Suryodiningrat, Editor-in-Chief of The Jakarta Post argues that for China, the ASEAN meetings served as long-term agenda setting and faith building with the region which slowly yields trust.