U.S. doubles down on ASEAN aid to counter China

Japan’s Kishida vows ‘quality infrastructure,’ warns against ‘opaque’ assistance

PHNOM PENH — The U.S. on Saturday upgraded its ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, vowing to deliver more aid as President Joe Biden steps up efforts to counter China’s growing influence in the regional bloc.

Washington and ASEAN elevated their relations to a “comprehensive strategic partnership,” a status Beijing secured last year, expanding the scope of cooperation in areas such as climate change mitigation.

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ASEAN, U.S.A., China