Sat, 29 Jan 2022

Jakarta [Indonesia], December 9 (ANI): As the United States makes Southeast Asia a strategic priority, it has invited three Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) members for the Summit for Democracy.

Washington's strategy in inviting three states was largely strategic as Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines are the only three ASEAN member states that are invited, according to Radio Free Asia.

Further, Washington, under the Joe Biden administration, has been increasing its engagement with Southeast Asia.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is scheduled to go on his first Southeast Asia tour as the country's top diplomat next week, amid rising tensions with China.

Earlier, US Vice President Kamala Harris and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin have also visited the region, as have two senior State Department officials, most recently Assistant Secretary of State Daniel KritenbrinkMeanwhile, the Summit for Democracy which is to be held on December 9-10, is part of US President Joe Biden's strategy to counter the influence of autocratic states, according to Radio Free Asia.

Further, the purpose of the conference is aimed to consolidate democratic countries within specific regions and sub-regions as a part of US strategy.

Earlier, US State Department spokesperson told that the goal of the invitation list "was to ensure the summit reflects a diverse slate of democracies.""The United States reached out to a regionally diverse set of democracies whose progress and commitments will advance a more just and peaceful world. Our goal is to be as inclusive as possible, within logistical constraints," the spokesperson added.

Earlier, then President-elect Biden announced last December that he intended to hold a "Summit for Democracy" in his first year in office.

Around 100 nations have been invited to participate and three key themes, as announced by the White House, will be: defending against authoritarianism, addressing and fighting corruption, and promoting respect for human rights. (ANI)

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