Southeast Asian leaders will head to Washington, DC this week for a summit meeting with US President Joe Biden. It effectively participates in the previous ASEAN Summit in October 2021 from the White House in Washington, DC.
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In the midst of the Ukrainian war Washington’s Foreign Policy Top Priority, President Joe Biden hosts Southeast Asian leaders In Washington — shows the United States’ commitment to a region involved in a dispute over control with China.
Some important issues — post-Covid economy Revival, Climate Change, Myanmar Coup — Will be on the table at a two-day meeting starting on Thursday. The leader of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a block of 10 countries that make up the world’s 7th largest economy, will participate.
Former ASEAN Secretary-General Ong Keng Yong told CNBC.
“Geopolitics and international security issues are inevitably raised and discussed, but no dramatic move can be expected in this regard,” On added. “The United States needs to be more in Southeast Asian countries.”
The White House said the summit “shows US’s lasting commitment to ASEAN … and commemorates 45 years of US-ASEAN relations.”
The United States has often emphasized “ASEAN centrality” in its Indo-Pacific strategy to contain China. This emphasis provides some bargaining power in this region, which is home to countries that do not want to openly choose between the United States and China.
Mr On, who is also Singapore’s ambassador, said Asia provided enough to maintain US involvement, despite its preconceptions about the war in Ukraine. “It is clear that Europe will come to the United States before any other part of the world since the end of World War II,” he said.
“Nevertheless, the people of ASEAN believe that the resilience and vitality of the United States will engage the Asian side of the Pacific Ocean and find something worthwhile to ensure the prosperity of the United States in the future.”
Joshua Kurlanzik, Senior Research Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, told CNBC, “ASEAN wants to see an economic framework with some concessions and a clearer strategy for regional security, especially for the South China Sea. “.
Biden’s Indo-Pacific Strategy, Announced in February, Washington states that Quad will seek opportunities to collaborate with Southeast Asian countries. However, ASEAN wants more US support for Brock-led initiatives.
Quad, officially known as the Shikoku Safety Dialogue, Is a strategic partnership aimed at countering China’s looming military presence in the Indo-Pacific, consisting of the United States, Australia, Japan and India.
Apart from this, Aukus, which consists of Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, is an Indo-Pacific security alliance that was launched in September last year.
ISEAS-Joan Lin, Principal Researcher at the ASEAN Research Center in Yusof Ishak, said: Institute in Singapore.
“By the United States ASEAN outlook in the Indo-Pacific Lin added, referring to a document adopted in 2019 by ASEAN explaining the strategic concepts of the Indo-Pacific region after former President Donald Trump announced a free and comprehensive Indo-Pacific vision.
People in many parts of the Southeast Asian region see US interests primarily as a struggle between US liberal democracy and Asian conservatism, said On, former Secretary-General of ASEAN.
“Yes, there are different forms of dictatorial governance in different parts of ASEAN, but there are still many areas where we can implement mutually rewarding joint initiatives to deepen relationships on a wider scale,” said On. Says.
The United States may argue Indo-Pacific Economic Framework It was announced by Biden at last year’s East Asia Summit. This could include new approaches to trade, supply chain security and clean energy.
“The United States is still embodying the content of the framework, but it is unlikely to impress ASEAN,” said Lin of the ISEAS-Yusofui Shaquin Institute. “Lack of market access and high labor and environmental standards may not work in some ASEAN countries.”
“There may be some progress in the Indo-Pacific economic framework, but we can’t expect binding US commitments,” CFR’s Kurlanzik added, adding that expectations from the summit are “quite low.” .. ..
The two ASEAN countries will not participate in the meeting with Biden. It is President Rodrigoduterte of the Philippines and Min Aung Hlaing, the leader of the military government of Myanmar, who took power from the Aung San Suu Kyi government elected in the coup d’etat in February 2021.