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US Sees Path to More Sway in Asia as Xi’s Efforts Stall

  • Secretary Austin to meet China’s defense minister in Singapore
  • US officials see Chinese setbacks over Covid, Pacific deals
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WATCH: Blinken said in May the US will seek to influence China’s behavior by shaping “the strategic environment around Beijing” in a speech that took direct aim at President Xi Jinping’s performance in leading the world’s second-biggest economy.Source: Bloomberg
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American officials increasingly see China losing diplomatic ground in Asia as Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin heads to Singapore for a regional security forum that will include a meeting with a top Chinese defense official. 

Determined not to be distracted by the war in Ukraine, administration officials say China has provided an opening for the US to solidify relationships in Asia. That’s in large part because of President Xi Jinping’s insistence on Covid-zero policies that have crimped economic growth, as well as a growing backlash against China’s assertive foreign policy.