The Straits Times
Published on Nov 08, 2012

AP Analysis: Obama 2nd term to sustain Asia pivot


WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama's re-election means he can sustain the strategic shift toward the Asia-Pacific started during his first term but the attention and resources the region gets may be hostage to instability in the Middle East and budget battles in Washington.

Mr Obama is slated to attend a summit of East Asian leaders in Cambodia this month, underscoring his commitment to the region. He could also make a side-trip to Myanmar, becoming the first US president to visit the country to reward its democratic reforms.

Many Asian governments are likely to welcome Mr Obama's victory over Republican challenger Mitt Romney. Concerned about China's rising power and assertive behaviour, they have supported the Obama administration's "pivot" to the region as the USdisentangles from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Still, they also want the US to get along with China, the hub of the Asian economy. Mr Romney's more confrontational stance, based on his threat to designate China as a currency manipulator, could have set back US-China relations and even sparked a trade war.