Asean is fulcrum of Indo-Pacific strategy: US

Many policies adopted by the region converge in South-east Asia, strengthening it

A giant lantern decorated with the Asean logo displayed at the entrance of the venue of the Asean Regional Forum meeting in Manila on Aug 3, 2017.
A giant lantern decorated with the Asean logo displayed at the entrance of the venue of the Asean Regional Forum meeting in Manila on Aug 3, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

The United States under President Donald Trump sees South-east Asia as the fulcrum of its "free and open Indo-Pacific" strategy rather than a region excluded from it, said its newly appointed point man for security initiatives in East Asia and the Pacific, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Alex Wong.

In an interview with The Straits Times and Western wire services in Singapore yesterday, he described Asean as not just the core but also "the fulcrum of the Indo-Pacific policy and a geographical truth".

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 17, 2018, with the headline 'Asean is fulcrum of Indo-Pacific strategy: US'. Subscribe