After the virtual foreign ministerial meeting arranged by Brunei, the chair of ASEAN, Blinken tweeted that the 10-member group is "key to the future of the Indo-Pacific," apparently in mind of China's growing clout in the region.
Blinken stressed the U.S. contribution to the response to the pandemic, including donating more than 23 million vaccine doses to ASEAN member states, and announced that the United States plans to provide $500,000 to their COVID-19 response fund to support the purchase of vaccines.
In a related move, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman had a phone call with a representative of Myanmar's government in exile the same day, according to the State Department.
ASEAN countries are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
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