US Secretary of State Antony Blinken kicks off his maiden Southeast Asia tour on Monday as the Biden administration steps up its diplomatic efforts in a region that has been aggressively courted by China.The four-day tour, covering Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, will be warmly welcomed, according to observers, especially following earlier disquiet over Washington’s commitment to the region.It comes at a time when the US is pushing to strengthen its military partnerships in new frontiers of…

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