US no longer SE Asian resident power

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By William Choong

For years at the Shangri-La Dialogue, the pre-eminent meeting of defence ministers held in Singapore, successive secretaries of defence from the United States have repeated ad nauseam that Washington is a “resident power” in the region. It is becoming increasingly evident that the Covid-19 pandemic has taken the measure of United States leadership in the region ­– and found it to be wanting. Indeed, the “resident power” of the Asia-Pacific is nowhere to be seen.

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