The induction of China's fifth generation of leaders has observers around the world anticipating how the Xi-Li administration will settle and what effect its new policies will have. For Asean, it is likely that policy and attitude will stay the course.
Equally significant is the United States' re-election of President Obama. Within two days of his victory, the White House announced a four-day visit to Southeast Asia. Mr Obama's attendance of the US-Asean Leaders' Summit and visits to Thailand and Myanmar reaffirmed America's commitment to Asean and reflects its strategic Asia pivot.
Asean countries have substantial trade ties with the US and rely on the sheer firepower of the US Navy in the ongoing dispute in the South China Sea, while they continue to benefit from China's growth. Therein lies the underlying issue in this trajectory of economic and security strategy of Asean countries.
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