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Biden's Asia policy

ASEAN courts Biden as China speeds 'vaccine diplomacy'

10-member bloc seeks diplomatic balance after Trump's neglect of region

Southeast Asian countries hope for better diplomatic relations with Washington, as China seeks to strengthen ASEAN ties with its "vaccine diplomacy." (Source photos by AP and Reuters)

SINGAPORE -- After U.S. President Joe Biden's inauguration, hopes in Southeast Asia for better diplomatic relations with Washington have risen, especially against the backdrop of China's aggressive 'vaccine diplomacy' meant to win the region's hearts and minds.

In a statement released on Thursday by Brunei, this year's chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, foreign ministers in the region noted: "We look forward to working with the new administration to further strengthen the strategic partnership between ASEAN and the U.S. for the region's peace, security, stability and prosperity."

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