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Nervous About China, Southeast Asia Gets Trump’s Attention

, Ken Thomas Thursday, April 20, 2017

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Southeast Asia, a focus of past U.S. presidents, has been overlooked thus far for the Trump administration, but Vice President Mike Pence's visit to Indonesia Thursday marked a sign of change and he announced the president would follow him to the region later this year.

Anxious Southeast Asian governments are looking for America's commitment to counter China's rising economic and military clout. Vietnam's foreign minister is in Washington his week, and the top diplomats of the region's 10-nation bloc are expected to arrive en masse in early May, amid concerns their interests were being crowded out as President Donald Trump prioritizes Mideast counterterrorism, traditional alliances in Europe and North Korea's nuclear and missile threats. ...

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