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Jakarta Post

US pushes hard on its Indo-Pacific vision

  • Wichit Chaitrong

Bangkok   /   Tue, December 3 2019   /  01:27 am

United States President Donald Trump did not show up at the ASEAN Summit and related summits last month in Bangkok.Local media and many observers viewed his absence as evidence of the US wavering in its commitment to Asia, especially ASEAN.Prior to the ASEAN Summit, the US had announced a suspension of trade privileges worth US$1.3 billion under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) scheme for Thai products. The move reinforced the notion of US indifference toward Thailand and ASEAN, especially when compared with China’s strong commitment to the regions via its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, who led American business leaders to participate in the second Indo-Pacific Business Forum held on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit, however, reaffirmed the US’ strong commitment to Asia through the Indo-Pacific vision of Trump.He cited many statistics...