Biden joins U.S.-ASEAN summit

In his opening remarks to the summit, Biden said the United States was committed to the central role of the 10-nation ASEAN in the region and ASEAN nations can expect him to personally show up in the region in future.

The U.S. leader said his goal was "a region where every country can compete and succeed on a level playing field and all nations, no matter how big or powerful, abide by the law."

A day after the ASEAN summit, Biden will participate in the broader East Asia Summit, which brings together ASEAN and other nations in the Indo-Pacific region, a senior U.S. administration official said.

Analysts say Biden's meeting with the 10-nation bloc reflects his administration's efforts to engage allies and partners in a collective effort to push back against China.

However, in his opening remarks Biden avoided specific mention of China, as have U.S. officials in the run-up to the meetings as they work to set up a virtual summit between the U.S. president and Chinese leader Xi Jinping later this year.

The White House said Biden will announce plans to provide up to $102 million to expand the U.S. strategic partnership with ASEAN, which is currently chaired by Brunei, with funding going towards health, climate, economic, and education programs.

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