ASEAN’s new math: Washington should think addition, not subtraction,

Sarang Shidore, director of Studies at the Quincy Institute.

Is the U.S. strategy of reducing Russian and (especially) Chinese influence in Southeast Asia working? If the recent summit with ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) leaders in Washington is any indication, the answer has to be a no.

This speaks to the continued futility of a strategy of attempted exclusion in a time of greater autonomy and assertion in the region and the Global South more generally. For furthering American interests in the region, President Biden may be better served by a math lesson in addition rather than subtraction.

Much media attention after the summit was focused on the fact that the joint statement failed to condemn Russia for its illegal invasion of Ukraine. That should hardly have been a surprise. ASEAN states largely voted for the initial UN General Assembly resolution condemning the Russian invasion, but they balanced that with signals that indicated a desire for positive relations with Moscow. Singapore was the only ASEAN state that joined the United States in levying sanctions on Russia. Indonesia has made it clear that it is in no mood to exclude Russia from the G20 summit later this year (though it will also invite Ukraine). Läs artikel