The purpose of this hearing is to continue gathering information about China's interests and activities in Southeast Asia, and how these activities may impact U.S. regional economic and security interests. As Chairman Slane mentioned, since coming to office last year the Obama Administration has repeatedly indicated to Southeast Asia that it would like to reinvigorate U.S.-Southeast Asian relations. During President Obama's November trip to Singapore, the President stated that "the United States is a Pacific nation, and we enjoy deep historical ties to Southeast Asia." And just three days ago the White House announced that the President will be traveling to Indonesia and Australia in March. Trade between the United States and the ten nations which make up the Association of Southeast Asian Nations reached $181 billion in 2008. The United States also has security interests in the region, to include assisting regional states to combat terrorism and maintain the freedom of navigation in maritime Southeast Asia-both of which are extremely important given that much of the world's seaborne trade traverses this region. Finally, the United States has an interest in promoting and strengthening democracy in the region.