ASEAN-US summit: Yes to economic cooperation, no to security alliance

Center stage: United States President Joe Biden (center) takes part in the ASEAN-US Summit on the sidelines of the 2021 ASEAN summits held online in Bandar Seri Begawan on Oct. 26, 2021.(AFP/Handout/ASEAN Summit 2021)



ASEAN leaders should welcome United States President Joe Biden’s Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, but never as part of the overall US security strategy in the region.


Instead, when ASEAN leaders meet with Biden in Washington, DC, next month, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo should push Biden to incorporate his initiative into the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific.


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While both emphasize economic cooperation, Biden’s framework excludes China, while the ASEAN Outlook seeks to promote economic cooperation that includes everyone in the region, including China.


One is clearly superior and more workable than the other.


The White House has announced that Biden will host the special summit with leaders of the ASEAN on May 12-13 to demonstrate the US’ enduring commitment to ASEAN, recognizing its central role in delivering sustainable solutions to the region’s most pressing challenges.



Endy Bayuni (The Jakarta Post)|
Jakarta   ●   Thu, April 28 2022

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