S-E Asia and the Biden administration: Finding the middle ground

After over a decade of engagement with the Obama and Trump administrations on extreme ends of the spectrum, a return to something more normal in relations is to be welcomed

Local residents wearing masks of US president-elect Joe Biden and vice-president-elect Kamala Harris in Solo, central Java, on Nov 8, 2020. PHOTO: AFP
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On Jan 20, Mr Joe Biden will be inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States. Over the next four years, South-east Asian states should prepare for US engagement with the region to return to a more traditional middle ground between the Obama and Trump administrations that were outliers on opposite ends of the engagement spectrum.

After more than a decade of abnormal engagement between America and South-east Asia, and facing a more assertive and aggressive China, this return to something more normal is to be welcomed.

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