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Battle of the Pacific Blocks has Begun!!!!

Holy titanic trade tiffs! We got a full-on fight brewing in the Pacific between the future influencers of free trade…one that covertly has the US facing off against China…and you probably didn’t hear a damn thing about it in the US news yet, have you?  Was it just a coincidence that all major US officials have been visiting Australia and ASEAN in the last week? Not. Just after the big ASEAN meeting came the bigger EAS meeting, and then on the tail end of that came a surprise announcement: a RCEP trade block is forming up, the largest free trade zone EVER, and it does not include the US! Listen to the Professor rant about how this RCEP is now competing against the TPP for control of the Asia-Pacific soul! And holla back if you are interested at all in this interesting squall!

Related Stories:
Asia Leaders Push Regional Trade Pact
Obama Asia Trip Highlights US Hopes for Region
Everybody Loves ASEAN!
In Other News…the TPP: Trans-Pacific Partnership
And a whole mini-lecture on ASEAN - pan down to 3.4 ASEAN (13:38)

Keywords: ASEAN, EAS, RCEP, TPP, US, China, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Burma, trade, trade blocks, free trade, New Zealand, India, East Asia Summit, Southeast Asia

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US up in the SouthEast Asian Hizzle, Big Time!

Is a new ‘Chinese Containment Policy’ underway? It sure looks like it to the Plaid Avenger and friends! As the USA continues to focus more time, attention, money, and military into Asia as a whole, SouthEast Asia in particular looks to be the region that is gaining the most-est in terms of US love. Visits from top US officials, investment from top US companies, and strategic US military ties are all being formed at a break-neck speed across the ASEAN block…all of which serve to bolster US influence in the region while simultaneously side-lining China’s aggressive attempts to do the same thing! The battle for Pacific primacy on!

Related Stories:
Clinton calls for US-Asean unity for region to prosper
(From China:) US intervention not conducive to Asia-Pacific stability
Sea of trouble for ASEAN
First ASEAN-US Business Forum to kick off to chart economic cooperation
GE first U.S. firm to invest in Burma

Keywords: Chinese Containment, ASEAN, US, China, South China Sea, Vietnam, Burma, Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia, Japan, South China Sea, military, economics, GE

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Tsunami of Change Hitting Burma!

Sometimes the news can be good news! The historic April 1st election in Burma that saw Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy win 43/45 parliamentary seats is being hailed as the first free and fair elections for 50 years! And it has caused a flurry of international activity from the US, the UK, the EU, Japan, and the world. Check out all the awesome details of the whirlwind of change in just the last 20 days! Viva democracy! Viva Aung San Suu Kyi!

Related Stories:
Japan to write off Myanmar debt in thumbs-up for reform
Myanmar president to visit Friday with resumption of aid in the offing
Burma activists say go slow on easing sanctions
David Cameron lauds Aung San Suu Kyi as he arrives in Burma

Keywords: Burma, NLD, National League for Democracy, US, UK, EU, sanctions, Japan, debt forgiveness, Jim Webb, Virginia, democracy

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Issue 2: Battle For Burma

Well, the battle for the heart and soul of this country is on, but no one outside Burma seems to be able to do a damn thing about it! Why not?

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