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US President affirms importance of US-ASEAN relationship

US President Joe Biden attended the ninth ASEAN-US Summit on October 26 via videoconference, becoming the first US top leader to join a meeting with the ASEAN leaders in the recent four years after his predecessor, Donald Trump, participated in an ASEAN-US Summit in Manila in 2017.

Addressing the summit, Biden affirmed that the US is committed to the central role of the 10-nation ASEAN in the region, adding that the relationship between the US and ASEAN is vital for the future of one billion of people.

“Our partnership is essential in maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific, which has been the foundation of our shared security and prosperity for many decades,” he stated. 

At the summit, Biden also announced an over 100 million USD initiative to beef up the US relationship with Southeast Asian nations. The amount will be spent on health care, climate, economic recovery and educational programmes.

One day after the summit, Biden will participate in the broader East Asia Summit, which brings together ASEAN and other nations in the Indo-Pacific region./.