Inside Story

How different is Joe Biden’s ‘pivot to Asia’ from predecessors?

On his first visit to Asia as US president, Biden wants to reassure allies about Washington’s strategic focus on China.

It’s a decade after Barack Obama announced a “pivot to Asia”, and successive US administrations have talked about China’s growing economic, diplomatic and military clout.

A year ago, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said China represented the United States’s “biggest geopolitical test of the 21st century”.

But troubles elsewhere have obscured the planned focus on Beijing, and now the US is stepping up support for Ukraine in its war with Russia.

Is that conflict challenging the US’s long-sought strategic and economic shift to Asia?

Presenter: Sami Zeidan


Heino Klinck – Former US deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia and former military attaché at the US Embassy in Beijing

Victor Gao – Chair professor at Soochow University and former Chinese foreign service officer

Tomohiko Taniguchi – Professor at Keio University and former special adviser to the Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe