Updated 2:53 AM ET, Sun May 22, 2022
US President Joe Biden is on an alliance-boosting visit to Asia, a belated first trip to a region that remains central to his foreign policy goals even as his focus has been drawn away.
Biden’s stops in two staunch US allies – South Korea and Japan – are meant to bolster partnerships at a moment of global instability. While Biden and his team have spent much of their time and resources on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, provocations from North Korea have intensified and China continues to flex its economic and military might.
The President is paying his first visit to Asia later in his presidency than he might have liked, according to officials, who say Covid restrictions and the pull of other crises made it difficult to schedule a trip. Biden is the third US president in a row to attempt a foreign policy refocus on Asia, though intervening events have often gotten in the way.