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US-Asean ties - the Goldilocks quest continues

The US has warmed up the diplomatic porridge but getting the balance right is tricky. There’s also the risk of distractions down the road.

Flags are seen outside the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) secretariat building in Jakarta, Indonesia. PHOTO: REUTERS
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It has been just over a year since Mr Joe Biden was inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States. Are US relations with South-east Asia better off now?

Having endured a season of relative neglect during the tempestuous Trump years, a return to conventional foreign policy decision-making in Washington would have been a welcome change for many South-east Asian policymakers. Yet anxieties mingled with anticipation as to what a new administration portended for the region.

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