About international relations
Lasting only a few hours, US president Obama's short trip to Burma was the first for a US president & rich in meaning for the Burmese.
Obama visits Burma
By AFP & other news agencies
Photos from AFP and Reuters.
November 19, 2012
YANGON: Huge crowds greeted Barack Obama in Myanmar Monday on the first visit by a serving US president to the long-shunned country.
President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton came down the steps of Air Force One next to each other on their final foreign trip together since Clinton will be leaving the job soon.
The visit lasted only a few hours but was rich in symbolic importance, marking a turnaround in the relationship between the two countries
As Obama's motorcade passed, crowds of people lined the road from Yangon's airport into the center of the city to catch a glimpse of the president, a sort of "Obama fever" gripped Yangon with people waving US and Myanmar flags and some chanting "America." One poster read "Legend, hero of our world."
T-shirts and mugs with Obama's picture on them were for sale in city stores.
Obama next met with the country's reformist President Thein Sein followed by a meeting with democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi at the lakeside house where she spent years under house arrest.
The final stop in the tour was Yangon University for where President Obama gave a speech on democracy. The setting for the speech was rich in symbolism as the university was the scene of pro-democracy student protests in the past.
US officials announced $170 million in development aid to the country and the reopening of a US Agency for International Development (USAID) mission in Myanmar. The money is to be spent over a two-year period on projects to build democratic institutions and improve education.
Officially the US still calls the country "Burma" the name that has always been favoured by activists opposing the government, but during his historical visit, US president Obama called the country Myanmar, a departure from the usual protocol
Asia was chosen as the president's first foreign post-election trip since the region is considered to be crucial to future US security and prosperity.
This is the fifth official visit to Southeast Asia by President Obama.
Asia is slated to to play a more important role in foreign policy during Mr. Obama's second term as the US seeks to counter China and expand its influence in Asia.
For decades Burma aligned itself with China only distancing itself recently out of fear over rising Chinese influence.
The next stop for President Obama is the East Asia Summit, the main focus of his pivot of US foreign policy to the region.
(Source: Bangkok Post & AFP & other agencies)
State Visit Vocabulary
US President - the President of the United States, the head of state and head of government of the United States (See Wikipedia)
US President Obama - "the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office" (See Wikipedia)
head of state - the official who holds the highest position in the government of a country (sovereign state) (See Wikipedia)
state visit - "a state visit is a formal visit by a foreign head of state to another nation, at the invitation of that nation's head of state. State visits are the highest form of diplomatic contact between two nations, and are marked by ceremonial pomp and diplomatic protocol" (See Wikipedia)
a serving US president - while the president is president (not afterwards as a "former president")
shun - when people stay away from someone or something หลบเลี่ยง, หลีกเลี่ยง, หนี,
the long-shunned country
the first visit by a serving US president to the long-shunned country.
Air Force One - the airplane that the US president travels in (See Wikipedia and website)
symbol (noun) - not an actual thing but another thing used instead (that has the same meaning and represents it) เครื่องหมาย
symbolic (adjective) - representing something important, but in this case, not the real thing เป็นเครื่องหมาย เป็นสัญญาณ เป็นสัญลักษณ์
rich - interesting, with a lot of different qualities, experiences or events อุดมไปด้วย
rich in symbolic importance
a visit rich in symbolic importance
marking - when some event shows something important happening
turnaround - an important change in a situation that causes it to improve
relationship - the way that two people or things are involved with or connected to each other ความสัมพันธ์
a visit marking a turnaround in the relationship between the two countries
motorcade - a group of cars traveling with someone very important ขบวนรถ
lined the road - many people or things along the side of the road
As Obama's motorcade passed, crowds of people lined the road from Yangon's airport
glimpse - when you see something or someone for a very short time เหลือบดู, ชำเลือง, ชายตามอง
catch a glimpse
catch a glimpse of the president
fever - 1.great excitement about something; 2. an abnormally high body temperature ไข้
Obama fever - great excitement about Obama's visit
grip - 1. when something has a strong effect on someone (example: gripped by a disease); 2. to hold very strongly
a sort of "Obama fever" gripped Yangon
wave flag - move flag back and forth (to show love and respect)
waving US and Myanmar flags
chanting - shouting or singing a word or phrase again and again ร้องเพลง โห่ร้อง
mug - a cup for drinking hot drinks in
mugs with Obama's picture on them
reform (noun) - improvements, changes to correct things that are wrong or unfair ปฏิรูป
reformist (adjective) - ปฏิรูป
the country's reformist President Thein Sein followed
icon - a famous person who people believe represents an idea
democracy icon - a famous person who people believe represents the ideal of democracy
a meeting with democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi
under house arrest - cannot leave their house
the lakeside house where she spent years under house arrest
the setting for the speech was rich in symbolism
the university was the scene of pro-democracy student protests in the past.
development - the gradual growth and formation of something
aid - help; assistance ความช่วยเหลือ เงินช่วยเหลือ
development aid - money to help a poor country grow and improve itself
US officials announced $170 million in development aid to the country
mission - travelling to another country to accomplish an important task
the reopening of a US Agency for International Development (USAID) mission in Myanmar
institution - an important tradition on which society is based
build democratic institutions
improve - to make better ทำให้ดีขึ้น
projects to build democratic institutions and improve education.
favour - to like one thing more than another
activist - a person who works for political and social change นักกิจกรรม, นักทำกิจกรรม
the name "Burma" has always been favoured by activists opposing the government
departure - 1. not doing what you normally do; 2. leaving ออกจาก
protocol - a set of rules for the correct way to behave on formal occasions (example: diplomatic protocol)
a departure from the usual protocol
election - the process of choosing a person or a group of person for a position, especially by voting elect (v) electoral (adj) synonym: the polls การเลือกตั้ง
post-election - after an election
post-election trip - a trip after an election
first foreign post-election trip
Asia was chosen as the president's first foreign post-election trip
crucial - very important because it effects the result of something สำคัญยิ่ง
security - the activity of making safe or protecting from harm ความปลอดภัย
prosperity - a time when people have enough money and life is good; the state of being successful and having a lot of money ความเจริญรุ่งเรือง ความมั่งคั่ง
the region is considered to be crucial to future US security and prosperity.
official - approved by the government or some authority ที่เป็นทางการ
the fifth official visit to Southeast Asia by President Obama.
policy - a plan of action to guide decisions and achieve outcomes นโยบาย (See Wikipedia)
role - the position, functionor purpose that someone or something has in a situation, organisation, society or relationship บทบาท
play a more important role in foreign policy
term - a period of time a politician or other official holds their job ช่วงเวลาการดำรงตำแหน่ง ช่วงเวลาการดำรงตำแหน่งหรืออำนาจ
Mr. Obama's second term
slated - arrangements have been made for it to happen
Asia is slated to to play a more important role in foreign policy during Mr. Obama's second term
counter - to take action to oppose or stop something ต่อต้าน
influence - the power to have an effect on people or things อิทธิพล มีอิทธิพลต่อ, ชักจูง อำนาจบังคับ
expand US influence in Asia
expand - to become larger ขายตัวออกไป
expand its influence in Asia
the US seeks to counter China and expand its influence in Asia
aligned - supporting; connected with ที่สนับสนุน ที่เกี่ยวข้อง
aligned with China
decades - periods of ten years เป็นสิบๆปี
For decades Burma aligned itself with China
distance - make relationship less close (less involved with, less connected)
distancing itself recently out of fear over rising Chinese influence.
focus - the main thing it is concerned with ให้ความสำคัญ
pivot - the most important thing that other things are based on
the East Asia Summit is the main focus of his pivot of US foreign policy to the region.
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