Photo of Joe Biden

Remarks at a United States-Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit Virtual Meeting

October 26, 2021

Well, thank you, Sultan, for bringing us together today. And I might say, it's good to see you again. We met when I was a United States Senator. You would—we've established a relationship, and it's good to see you looking well and running this meeting.

Brunei's leadership has been vital to seeing ASEAN through a very challenging year. It is my hope that in the future we'll be able to hold these meetings in person again, because the relationship between the United States and ASEAN is vital—vital—for the future of all 1 billion of our people.

Our partnership is essential in maintaining a free and open, which has been the foundation of our shared security and prosperity for many decades. And the United States strongly supports the ASEAN Outlook and the Indo-Pacific—on the Indo-Pacific and the rules-based regional order.

Our continued cooperation is only growing more important—not less—more important as we strive together to meet the challenges that are going to shape the 21st century moving forward: tackling COVID-19 pandemic, taking on the climate crisis, strengthening our cyber defenses, and producing new technologies, upholding freedom of the seas and commerce, and so much more. So much more.

So I'm looking forward to hearing from each of you and to our discussion today, but I want you all to hear directly from me the importance the United States places on our relationship with ASEAN. You can expect to see us showing up, as Vice President Harris did with her recent trip to the region. You can expect to see me personally showing up and reaching out to you.

You can expect to see the United States deepening our longstanding cooperation, pursuing new avenues of ministerial dialogue, investing in our countries, and driving inclusive prosperity in this critical region. In fact, we intend to launch a new program and initiatives to enhance our cooperation across the range of issues totaling more than $100 million.

Our bottom line is that ASEAN is essential—I want to say that it is essential—to the regional architecture of the Indo-Pacific. And the United States is committed to ASEAN's centrality. You know, it's a linchpin. It's a linchpin for maintaining the resilience, the prosperity, and security of our shared region.

And I want you to know I am truly looking forward to working with you to advance not only our many shared interests, but our shared values and shared vision for a region where every country can compete and succeed on a level playing field and all nations, no matter how big or powerful, abide by the law.

So I want to thank you all for this opportunity. And I look forward to this being the first of many meetings.

[At this point, the meeting continued; no transcript was provided.]

NOTE: The President spoke at 9:05 a.m. from the South Court Auditorium of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Executive Office Building. In his remarks, he referred to Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei, who introduced the President.

Joseph R. Biden, Remarks at a United States-Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit Virtual Meeting Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/353123

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