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Biden Shortens Planned Visit to the Indo-Pacific: What it Means for ASEAN

19 May Biden Shortens Planned Visit to the Indo-Pacific: What it Means for ASEAN

“The US President is absent, but importantly the region is still here”, said Associate Professor Simon Tay, Chairman, Singapore Institute of International Affairs.

Reacting to the decision by US President Biden to cancel his planned visit to Australia, Papua New Guinea, and the Quad Summit:

“There is a bad sense of déjà vu: ten years ago, the same thing very much happened to President Obama. The reasons too — the domestic dangerous brinkmanship over the debt ceiling – are huge in DC but have absurd and large impacts abroad – both financially and in politics. It opens questions over America’s focus and commitment to the region, and whether the USA is still a factor of stability or increasingly a source of uncertainty.”

“When Biden ditched the Quad Summit Biden, the other leaders from Australia, India and Japan called it off. This grouping was banded together by and around the USA and this shows how little can happen without them present.”

In contrast, the long-running and homemade institution of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is not faultless, but its continuance does not depend on any single country.

The American president is absent but importantly the region is still here.”- Simon Tay, Chairman, Singapore Institute of International Affairs



Associate Professor Simon Tay, Chairman of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA), is able to comment on Biden’s cancellation of his planned visit to the Indo-Pacific and the Quad Summit and what it means for US relations with the region.  

About Simon Tay

Associate Professor Simon Tay is the chairman of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs. Associate Professor Tay is concurrently a tenured Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore. He has written and advised extensively on ASEAN, and on its relations with major powers including China. 


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About the Singapore Institute of International Affairs 

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Established in 1962, the Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA) is a non-profit and independent think tank committed to producing policy analysis, fostering in-depth dialogues and bridging gaps between policymakers, private sector decision-makers and experts to shape public policy and social responses. Centred around ASEAN focused themes, the institute aims to deliver policy analysis in international affairs and on issues driving environmental sustainability. The SIIA has been consistently ranked as one of the leading think tanks in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, in the Global Go-To Think Tank Index by the University of Pennsylvania. Since 2017, the SIIA was ranked the No. 1 independent think tank in Asia. It was also recognised as one of the top 50 think tanks globally, excluding the United States of America. In 2019, it was recognised as the No. 1 think tank in South, Southeast Asia and Pacific (excluding India).