WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Tuesday will announce a $100 million initiative meant to beef up the U.S. relationship with the organization of Southeast Asian nations, according to the White House.
Biden is set to participate on Tuesday morning in a virtual summit with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations. It marks the first time since 2017, when President Donald Trump participated in the summit, that a U.S. president will take part in a meeting of the bloc.
It comes as Biden is looking to strengthen the U.S. presence in the Pacific in the face of China’s growth as a national security and economic adversary.
The new funding will include money for health spending, a new climate initiative, programs to assist with the economic recovery caused by the coronavirus pandemic and education programs.