Senate Foreign Relations Committee leaders are proposing the creation of a permanent US mission for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to help counter China’s influence in the region.
Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and ranking Republican Jim Risch (Idaho) have introduced bipartisan legislation to strengthen US-ASEAN relations.
The bill would authorize ASEAN’s formal designation as an international organization with diplomatic privileges and immunities, paving the ways for creation of a permanent ASEAN mission in the united States.
“As countries like China increasingly engage in predatory economic behavior, the United States must put greater focus on Southeast Asia, especially through trade, investment, and other economic engagement,” Sen. Risch commented.
Also sponsoring the legislation are Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill) and Mitt Romney (R-Utah).
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