Seven Out of Ten ASEAN Countries' Leaders Didn't Attend the Summit
Trump did not attend the ASEAN leaders' summit and the East Asian Summit in Thailand's capital on November 2-4 and did not send either the Vice President or the US Secretary of State to Bangkok. Robert O 'Brian, US National Security Advisor, arrived in Bangkok as chairman of the Washington delegation.
According to regional observers, it is atypical and rarely for the US to have a lower level of US representation in ASEAN events.
This morning, only three ASEAN leaders came to the ASEAN-US Summit, which took place before the East Asia Summit: the Prime Ministers of Thailand (this year's ASEAN Presidency), Vietnam and Laos. The other countries of the bloc - Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Cambodia, Myanmar and the Philippines were represented by their foreign ministers.
At the beginning of the meeting, O'Brien read a letter from President Trump to ASEAN leaders inviting them to visit him in the United States for a separate "special" summit.
On Monday, the Indo-Pacific Business Forum, organized by the United States, together with the ASEAN American Business Council and the American Chamber of Commerce, is being held in the adjacent Impact Sports Hall on the northern outskirts of Bangkok. The head of the US delegation to the forum is US Secretary of Commerce Wilber Ross, who proudly announced at the opening that there were 19 US ambassadors in the region and 8 heads of US administrative departments among the approximately one thousand participants in the event.