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Ernest Bower’s omission of the East Asia Summit (EAS) in his testimony “China‘s activities in Southeast Asia and its implication for US interests” is interesting.   Given the fact that the United States was recently admitted into the EAS at a much publicized summit in Bali last November, ignoring the EAS is almost like not noticing the gorilla in the room.  Is there something more to it?  Is it a signal that there could be a change of mind in the US regrading the EAS.  Anita Prakash in her article asked ” Will the US commit long term to the East Asia summit?”   As 2012 is an election year, the attendance of the US President at the East Asia summit in Phnom Penh is uncertain.   It is interesting to speculate that a change of mind could be underway in the US to ignore the EAS to let it “wither on the vine”.

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