White House announces US$150 million investment in Southeast Asia

Two-day US-ASEAN Special Summit was held in Washington on 12th.Associated Press

The two-day US-ASEAN Special Summit was held in Washington on 12th. The White House announced that it will invest US$150 million in cooperation in four areas, including climate, education, maritime security and public health. Although the list of results China did not mention a word, the outside world still interpretsSoutheast AsiaIt has become a battlefield between the US and China.

president of americaBidenCommitted last OctoberInvestmentSoutheast Asia is worth US$100 million, and now Zhuodong has invited leaders of 8 Southeast Asian countries to come to Washington, and announced an investment of US$150 million before the start of the summit.

According to the list of achievements released by the White House, the United States will invest US$150 million to build new partnerships and cooperate with Southeast Asian countries in four areas of climate, education, maritime security and public health. The United States will spend US$60 million to promote maritime security cooperation, and a United States Coast Guard (USCG) patrol boat has been deployed in the area for security cooperation and training.

In addition, the White House said the United States would continue to provide new crown vaccines to Southeast Asia, and invest US$10 million to assist Southeast Asia in monitoring new crown, tuberculosis and other airborne infectious diseases. .

A senior official told a background briefing that this reflects the Biden administration’s growing involvement in the Southeast Asian region; Much of the media still focuses on the competition between the United States and China in the region, and the US summit is seen as a victory over Southeast Asia. And targeting China.

Competition between the United States and China has intensified, and surveys still show Southeast Asian countries are neutral and vague on the issue.

Morning Consult, an American polling company, released the results of a survey on the 12th. In terms of people’s preferences in six Indo-Pacific countries, including Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore and South Korea, for the two major economies, the United States outperforms China; The survey results in Singapore and Indonesia, compared to ASEAN member countries, found that respondents in both countries have no clear preferences on who to seek investment and with whom to do business.

Senior Biden administration officials said the United States has always been a key player in Southeast Asia, as has China, and the United States does not ask Southeast Asian countries to choose sides between the United States and China. ; “But we want to emphasize that as the United States pursues strong ties, and we want to expand cooperation, we must first actively respond to the needs that regional countries value.”

In addition, the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) promoted by the Biden administration will also be a topic of discussion at the summit. Jack Cooper, an Asia expert at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), analyzed to the Financial Times that Southeast Asian countries expect The United States will make specific signals, particularly in areas of trade and investment that both sides are particularly lacking.

Two-day US-ASEAN Special Summit was held in Washington on 12th.Associated Press
Two-day US-ASEAN Special Summit was held in Washington on 12th.Associated Press

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