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President Joe Biden took part in the 2021 Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit on Tuesday morning and announced an investment worth up to $102 million to expand the United States’s partnership with the group.
The president’s announcement comes as the Biden administration has ramped up its focus on the Indo-Pacific region, specifically in terms of countering China’s economic and military influence. His predecessor, former President Donald Trump, took part in the summit in 2017 but did not participate from 2018–2020.
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“You can expect to see me personally showing up and reaching out. You can expect to see the United States deepening our long-standing cooperation, pursuing new avenues of ministerial dialogue, investing in our countries, and driving inclusive prosperity in this critical region,” Biden told the other leaders gathered for the virtual summit. “Our bottom line is that ASEAN is essential …

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