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Biden attending the ASEAN summit Trump skipped after 2017

Biden attending the ASEAN summit Trump skipped after 2017

October 27, 2021:-On Tuesday, U.S. President Joe Biden is going to participate in a virtual summit with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the first time in four years Washington engaged at the top level with a bloc it sees as key to its strategy to push back against China.

The U.S. embassy in Brunei told Reuters that Biden would lead the U.S. delegation for the ASEAN-United States summit, the series of ASEAN leaders’ meetings in this week.

The commitment to ASEAN’s central role in regional affairs and the latest initiatives to strengthen the U.S. strategic partnership with the bloc, “as we work together for the Covid-19 pandemic to end, address the climate crisis, promote economic growth, and address a range of other regional challenges and opportunities.”

The United States has not joined the meetings at the presidential level since the predecessor of Biden, Donald Trump, attended an ASEAN-U.S. meeting in Manila in 2017.

Analysts believe that Biden’s meeting with the 10-nation bloc reflects his administration’s efforts to engage allies and partners in a collective effort to say against China.

U.S. officials, however, have not made specific mention of China in the run-up to the meeting as they work to set up a virtual summit amid Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping later this year.

They expected Biden to collaborate on Covid-19 vaccine distribution, climate, supply chains, and infrastructure.

He is also expected to assure ASEAN that the latest U.S. focus on engagement with India, Japan, and Australia in the so-called Quad grouping and a deal to supply Australia with nuclear-powered submarines are not intended to supplant ASEAN’s central regional role.

Last week, Edgard Kagan, senior director for East Asia at the White House National Security Council, stressed that Washington did not see the Quad as “an Asian NATO” and intended to compete with ASEAN.

“This will be Biden’s meeting with the leaders of ASEAN as president, so he will want to ensure them that Southeast Asia matters to his administration,” said Murray Hiebert, a Southeast Asia expert with Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank.

Biden has no sign of any plan to return to a regional trade framework Trump withdrew from in 2017. An Asian diplomat, while talking on condition of anonymity, said the lack of an economic element in U.S. regional engagement was a significant gap.

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