US defence chief to visit security partners Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam in bid to show commitment to Southeast Asia

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin is set to visit the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam this weekend on his first trip to Southeast Asia, in a bid to reinforce Washington’s presence in the region – but while experts say this will be a tough sell, there is the possibility of progress on security with Manila. “This is an effort by the Biden administration to show the region matters to the United States,” said Dr Renato de Castro, an international relations professor at De La Salle University in…

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