Tuesday, January 31

Biden focuses on technology gaps and security during his first trip to Asia as president

Judy Woodruff:

For more on Biden’s first trip to Asia as president, we get two perspectives.

Frank Jannuzi is president of the Mansfield Foundation, which seeks to promote U.S. relations with Asia. He also worked at the State Department and as a staffer for then-Senator Joe Biden. And Bonnie Glaser is the director of the Asia program at the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

Hello to both of you. Welcome back to the program.

Frank Jannuzi, let me start with you.

At this moment — what is it about this moment that you believe has led President Biden to go to Asia?

Frank Jannuzi, President and CEO, Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation: Thanks for the question, Judy.

Deep in Biden’s DNA about U.S.-Asia relations are the words of Mike Mansfield, who taught Biden that the most important bilateral relationship in the world for the United States, bar none, was the U.S.-Japan alliance.

So, I think, at the core, you have Biden attempting to reassure allies in South Korea, Japan and across the Indo-Pacific that the U.S.’ credible nuclear deterrence remains strong in the face of North Korea’s continued nuclear testing and missile development, that the U.S. commitment to Asia will not be in any way diminished by the conflict under way in Europe, where the U.S. and NATO allies are responding to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

So, security leads here. And Biden’s Asia DNA, if you will, inherited from Mansfield, has brought him to this region before traveling even to Kyiv.

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