For years, dwindling US economic engagement hurt American credibility in the region, while China looked increasingly like the only game in town. Joe Biden has a critical chance to build on the momentum from his attendance at recent summits, if his administration can put its money where his mouth is.
The presidential transition has the potential to lock US-China relations into a downward spiral or reduce tensions. The decisions by the outgoing administration and the signals sent by the incoming one will be important. But China’s behaviour will also be key.