Carla P. Freeman

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Jul 19, 2021

The Biden administration has made building back confidence in the United States as a source of global security and stability a central goal of its foreign policy. As this objective is pursued in the Asia Pacific within the framework of the administration’s Indo-Pacific strategy, it is closely intertwined with competition with China in the region and beyond. Biden officials have promised to engage vigorously in regional diplomacy and deepen the US role in regional multilateralism. However, the competitive thrust of the administration’s policies in the region make it prone to pursue coalitions of like- minded countries in activities that counter China’s regional initiatives. The risk is that this weakens the hard-won regionalism that enables regional collective action, ultimately leaving the region more vulnerable to exploitation by a regional hegemon.

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