US playing catch-up as China keeps hold on trade dominance in region

Over the years, China has cultivated considerable economic links with Asean and has leapfrogged the Americans' economic dominance in the region. PHOTO: AFP
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BEIJING/WASHINGTON - The United States and China are locked in a battle for influence in South-east Asia, home to more than 660 million people and the fifth-largest economy in the world.

US President Joe Biden will unveil his administration's long-awaited Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) on Monday (May 23), as part of efforts to step up Washington's economic engagement with Asia.

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