The United States announced that president Joe Biden will be having a meeting with the leaders of ASEAN sometime in the middle of May, with the focus of the meeting likely to be about China’s increasing influence.
Jen Psaki, the press secretary of the White House, said in a statement that the summit will demonstrate the US’ enduring commitment to ASEAN.
The statement further added that the Biden-Harris administration sees it as a top priority to be a strong and reliable partner in Southeast Asia.
The summit was supposed to be held on 28 and 29 March but was postponed due to scheduling conflicts and crises elsewhere, and it will now be held on 12 and 13 May.
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong previously met Joe Biden at the White House on 29 March, with the latter saying that he wanted to make sure ASEAN remains “free and open”, a reference to what the US sees as China trying to dominate the trade routes internationally.
US’ statement also didn’t indicate whether the leaders of Myanmar would attend, after the administration accusing Myanmar’s military leaders of genocide against the Rohingya minority.