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U.S. increases involvement in Southeast Asia 

Asahi speculated that the strategic competition between the United States and China over Southeast Asia will likely escalate, as the foreign ministers of both nations participated in an online East Asia Summit meeting held on Wednesday amid China’s concern over the United States’ strategy of increasing its involvement in the region. The paper wrote that a senior State Department official expressed Washington’s willingness to establish relationships of trust with allies and friends in the region by telling reporters on Monday that Secretary of State Blinken will address during talks with his Southeast Asian counterparts China’s “bad behavior that threatens the region,” adding that it would be difficult for the United States to overcome such challenges alone. The paper wrote that the Biden administration is stepping up its engagement with nations in Southeast Asia, as Secretary Blinken is planning to participate in five of the ASEAN-related meetings to be held this week, Secretary of Defense Austin has visited three nations in the region, and Vice President Harris is planning to visit Singapore and other nations in the region later this month.  

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