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INTERNATIONAL > East Asia & Pacific

China attempts to increase its influence over ASEAN 

  • November 14, 2020
  • , Yomiuri, Nikkei
  • JMH Summary
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Saturday’s Nikkei wrote that China attempted to expand its influence over ASEAN in a series of ASEAN-related meetings held last week, speculating that Beijing is trying to take advantage of the political confusion created in the wake of the presidential election in the United States. The paper wrote that although Japan and Vietnam expressed concern over China’s growing influence, they were unable to compensate for the absence of the United States. The paper wrote that while Japan had hoped that India would serve as a counterweight to China, India announced its withdrawal from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in 2019. Japan is concerned that since the United States is not part of RCEP, China will attempt to seize the initiative in the group. 


The paper wrote that although former Vice President Biden expressed agreement with the vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific during a teleconference with Prime Minister Suga on Thursday, China will likely step up its engagement in the region before the next U.S. president engages with Asia.  


Sunday’s Yomiuri wrote that the U.S. presence at the ASEAN-related meetings last week was small compared with China’s aggressive promotion of its economic assistance to nations in the region. Asahi ran a similar report, adding that ASEAN is hoping that the Biden administration will increase the United States’ engagement in the region. Nikkei wrote that ASEAN nations will keep a close eye on the Asia-related policies to be adopted by the next U.S. administration.  

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