Asian Voices On the Future of U.S.-Asia Relations: Strategic Recommendations for the Biden Administration

Washington D.C., September 29, 2021 — Today, The Asia Foundation released a set of recommendations assembled by a group of leading political, security, economic, and trade specialists from across the Asia-Pacific. The group met, debated, and analyzed their perspectives on U.S. policies and prospects in Northeast, South, and Southeast Asia, and then turned that analysis into a brand-new report to be shared with the Biden administration. Asian Voices on the Future of U.S.- Asia Relations encapsulates the working group’s assessments and recommendations on a range of issues facing Asian and U.S. interests in the region, including U.S.-China competition, Covid-19, post-pandemic economic recovery, global trade, technology tensions, and climate change. Each topic explores the question of what U.S. engagement in the region should look like.

Asian Voices Chairman H. E. Han Sung-Joo, former foreign minister of South Korea and ambassador to the United States, says “There is a significant change taking place in the geopolitical map of the world, and particularly involving America and Asia. Both have the need to have a better understanding of the change and what Asia expects of America, and vice-versa.” in a recent Q & A introducing the report.

Listen to our InAsia podcast with Asian Voices Co-Chairs Dr. Kirida Bhaopichitr, director of the Economic Intelligence Service at the Thai Development Research Institute, and Dr. C. Raja Mohan, director of the Institute for South Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore on The Asia Foundation’s InAsia podcast, where they tackle thorny topics, including the role of ASEAN, global supply chains, semi-conductors, the South China Sea and why it all matters. Their recommendations are now available online.

To create the recommendations, the Foundation brought together leading experts from China, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Nepal, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam to share their perspectives on U.S. policies and prospects across the region. John Brandon, the Asia Foundation’s senior director of International Relations programs organized the project.

“To constructively address the complex issues involved in U.S.-Asia relations, it’s extremely valuable for Asian voices from throughout the region to weigh in and to be heard by the Biden Administration. This point in history is especially complicated by the Covid-19 pandemic, an increasingly influential China, a worsening climate crisis, and new challenges in trade, technology, and civic space.”

Brandon and the three chairs of the report will speak on key findings at the Washington D.C. virtual launch of the report on September 30th.

The Foundation’s signature foreign policy initiative, Asian Views on America’s Role in Asia typically brings together diverse perspectives from influential Asian thought leaders on U.S. foreign policy priorities in Asia every four years. Because of the global pandemic, the project was adapted to a virtual format this year and the process was streamlined, resulting in this year’s Asian Voices report.

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our work across the region addresses five overarching goals—strengthen governance, empower women, expand economic opportunity, increase environmental resilience, and promote international cooperation.

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