Think regional, act local - the better US approach to South-east Asia

The Biden administration deserves kudos for stronger diplomatic engagement with the region; here are some steps to improve on its current efforts

Gift this subscriber-only story to your friends and family

The recent Shangri-La Dialogue exposed the stark differences between the United States and China's respective visions for Asian security. Whereas Beijing believes that Washington is "fanning confrontation" in the region, the US worries China's growing assertiveness threatens the freedom and openness of the Indo-Pacific.

Bilateral disagreements over Taiwan, the South China Sea and regional order are unlikely to abate in the near term. More broadly, the two countries are competing for influence in Asia. But Washington's Asia policy needs to be about more than just competing with China.

Already a subscriber? 

Read the full story and more at $9.90/month

Get exclusive reports and insights with more than 500 subscriber-only articles every month

Unlock these benefits

  • All subscriber-only content on ST app and

  • Easy access any time via ST app on 1 mobile device

  • E-paper with 2-week archive so you won't miss out on content that matters to you

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 20, 2022, with the headline Think regional, act local - the better US approach to South-east Asia. Subscribe