Top US envoy for East Asia visiting four South-East Asian nations


The top US diplomat for East Asia is visiting Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand from the weekend after President Joe Biden pledged stepped-up engagement with South-East Asia.

Daniel Kritenbrink, the assistant secretary of state for East Asia, is in the region until Dec 4, a State Department statement said.

Kritenbrink would “reaffirm the US commitment to work together... to tackle the most serious global and regional challenges” and stress US support for “a rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific,” it said.

Kritenbrink will discuss human rights “challenges,” seek to bolster cooperation on climate change and discuss ways to pressure Myanmar’s military government to cease violence and allow unhindered humanitarian access, the statement said.

He will also discuss how to strengthen economic relationships and “build back better” from the Covid-19 pandemic, it said.

Biden joined leaders of Asean in a virtual summit last month, the first time in four years Washington had engaged at the top level with the bloc.

He pledged to stand with Asean in defending freedom of the seas and democracy, and said Washington would start talks on developing a regional economic framework, something critics say his Asia strategy has lacked since his predecessor Donald Trump quit a regional trade pact.

An Asian diplomat said regional countries were still awaiting details of this plan, recognising Biden’s focus on rebuilding domestic economic strength was a limiting factor.

Daniel Russel, a predecessor of Kritenbrink in the Barack Obama administration, said a key question for Asean was “whether the United States truly has a viable economic strategy” for the region. — Reuters

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights
   

Next In Aseanplus News

Asean News Headlines at 10pm on Thursday (Jan 20, 2022)
Singapore's Covid-19 weekly infection growth rate rises to 2.17 - 1,001 new Omicron cases on Thursday (Jan 20)
Philippines logs 31,173 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday (Jan 20); total infections now above 3.3 million
Thailand logs 8,129 Covid-19 cases on Thursday (Jan 20); govt to resume quarantine-free entry for vaccinated visitors from February
Indonesia reports 2,116 new Covid-19 cases and seven more deaths on Thursday (Jan 20)
Vietnam reports 16,715 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday (Jan 20)
Singapore: International school teacher jailed six weeks for assaulting cabby
Thai GDP expected to grow 3.5%-4.5% in 2022 despite Omicron, says finance minister
Indonesia lifts coal export ban on 139 firms as firms met local market sales requirements aimed at averting a supply crunch
Swine fever-hit Philippines sees 'substantial' growth in hog population

Others Also Read


Vouchers