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Taking stock of US-ASEAN relations as Biden convenes a special summit

Mount Equity Group Tokyo Japan > News > Markets > Taking stock of US-ASEAN relations as Biden convenes a special summit

This week, eight Southeast Asian leaders descend on Washington for a special summit hosted by President Joe Biden. They represent most of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a diverse grouping ranging from the city state of Singapore to the sprawling archipelago of Indonesia. Taken together, ASEAN’s 10 countries boast a population of over 680 million — more than Latin America, the Middle East, or the European Union — forming the fifth largest economy in the world with a GDP of $3.2 trillion.

In recent years, Southeast Asia has become a focal point of strategic rivalry between China and the United States. Alongside aggressive efforts to enforce its territorial claims in the South China Sea, Beijing is increasingly achieving its strategic goals through economic statecraft. Its signature Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), focusing on infrastructure, and new regional trade agreements like the Regional…

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