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Jakarta Post

Southeast Asia has won along with Biden

  • John Riady

    Jakarta

Jakarta   /   Tue, November 17 2020   /  01:00 am
US President-elect Joe Biden smiles as he speaks about health care and the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) at the theater serving as his transition headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, US on Tuesday(Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

One sentiment that resounded among internationalists when Joe Biden won the presidency was that America is returning to the world. That is good news for Southeast Asia in general and Indonesia in particular. This is so because America's return inaugurates the possibility of a new relationship with China that would release Asian nations from the burden of having to choose between Washington and Beijing. The resulting division could have caused a rift serious enough to test ASEAN to its core. That threat has receded with America's departure from the Trumpean dream of remaking the world in the image of a defiantly isolationist America. The domestic politics of divide-and-rule that marked the Donald Trump presidency was reflected in America's global dealings as well. Trump's notions of ethnic and economic exclusivity resonated with right-wing Americans, including white ...