US shifts focus to the Asia-Pacific region amid its rivalry with China

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U.S. President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit Bangkok this week, along with U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. BANGKOK, 14 November 2012 – President Obama is scheduled to arrive in Bangkok next Sunday. A thorough security check was held on November 12, 2012 at Government House by the U.S. Secret Service.

Security at the compound is expected to include snipers stationed buildings around the Government House, as well as closures on Phitsanulok and Rama 5 Road. Mr. Obama is expected to hold bilateral talks with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra when she returns from her visit to the U.K.

Mr. Panetta is expected to meet Defense Minister Air Chief Marshal Sukampol Suwannatat to review the 2012 Joint Vision Statement of the Thai-U.S. Defense Alliance. The agreement is considered part of Thailand’s bid to become a major non-NATO ally.

While the U.S. Embassy has not issued a schedule for the U.S. president’s visit, Secretary-General to the Prime Minister’s Office, Suranand Vejjajiva, made known that he has requested a royal audience for Mr. Obama with His Majesty the King.