Key Takeaways from joint SVCA-HKVCA Webinar: “US-Asia Relations in the Biden Era

March 18, 2021

 

Indonesia thrusted into the spotlight for controversial Chinese

investment in a country which may struggle to repay her debt. A case of debt trap diplomacy for the Biden Administration to manage?

2021 marks President Duterte’s final full year in office: who is the
incoming president, and how is the Biden administration already changing the Chinese investment dynamic in the Philippines?

For Southeast Asia, the Biden Administration it is the US plus China.
For the US, it is Southeast Asia, plus China. The implications are that for SE Asia, as much as the US matters, China matters just as much, if not more because of the close proximity and Chinese investments across the region, from Cambodia to Indonesia. Conversely, for the US, Southeast Asia is an important region of growth, but China’s economic powers are not to be ignored.

Expected to be numerous areas where Biden will quietly continue Trump administration policies and a big change to approach to China is not expected

Possibility remains of another Trump run at the next election and Biden will also have contentious mid-terms to contend with and so there is likely to be a heavy domestic focus throughout his term particularly given ongoing issues with and need to emerge from COVID

Emergence from COVID will be complex and not at a single speed and this will continue to dominate economic policy in the near term and the effect of such policy will continue to be felt in the medium term.