So what will the presidency of US President-elect Joe Biden mean for south east Asia? And how will it differ from the administration of President Trump?
South east Asia already knows Joe Biden from his term as US vice president from 2008 – 2016, and his “Asia pivot” that provided high-level diplomacy and resources with strategic trade relationships. The Obama-era administration maintained a prickly but ongoing relationship with China and was supportive of the greater region’s checks on China’s march.
President Trump’s relationship with ASEAN has been marked with more defence sales, trade deals and an aggressive stance on trade with China that brought some advantage to south east Asia’s manufacturing powerhouses, including Thailand.
But Trump also pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership after years of talks on the world’s largest low-tariff trade zone. This left ASEAN…