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Translated by: MOS Finesse Team- Gloria 

On May 12th, US President Joe Biden held the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit. At the opening ceremony, Biden promised to provide 150 million US dollars in funds to assist countries in infrastructure, energy transition, security and pandemic prevention and other major projects to counter the Chinese Communist Party’s influence in the region. 

Image Credit: Doug Mills/The New York Times

It is reported that the summit was composed of leaders from Brunei, Indonesia, Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia and Philippines. It marks the first time ASEAN leaders have gathered at the White House as a group, and it is also the first ASEAN meeting chaired by a US president since 2016.

Previously, in November last year alone, Communist China had pledged to provide $1.5 billion in development assistance to ASEAN countries in three years. Therefore, U.S. officials said that the United States must strengthen its participation in Southeast Asia and counter the influence of the CCP in ASEAN countries.

In the new aid, the U.S. will invest $40 million to raise $2 billion in blended financing for clean energy infrastructure in Southeast Asia, reducing carbon emissions and strengthening countries’ power systems, according to a White House statement.

Second, $60 million will be invested in enhancing maritime security and about $15 million in health funding to help with early detection of the pandemic.  The rest of the funding will help these countries develop digital economies and AI laws.

In recent years, due to the CCP’s sovereignty claims in the South China Sea, ASEAN countries and the U.S. government have realized that measures must be taken to reduce the CCP’s influence. “Therefore the U.S. should adopt a more active trade and investment agenda with ASEAN, which will benefit the U.S. economically and strategically,” Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said at the summit.

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Proofread/Edited by: James L
Posted by: James L

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