In His 3rd Summit With Southeast Asian Leaders, Biden Bets on Face Time

The president traveled to Cambodia hoping that an in-person appearance would help reinforce his administration’s broad efforts to counter China’s rise and to promote human rights.

President Biden told members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on Saturday in Cambodia that the United States was committed to deepening “peace and prosperity throughout the region” by protecting against threats like climate change and the economic fallout of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The president was betting that an in-person appearance at the ASEAN gathering in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, would help reinforce his administration’s broad efforts to promote human rights in a country where democracy has been suppressed and to counter China’s rise, even as ASEAN countries embrace economic ties with Beijing.

“We will build a better future we all say we want to see,” Mr. Biden said at his third ASEAN summit as president, “for all one billion people in our countries.”

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