Follow CGSP on Social Media

Listen to the CGSP Podcast

White House Sticks With Group Diplomacy Rather Than One-on-Ones

Huong Le Thu is a senior analyst at The Australian Strategic Policy Institute and a non-resident fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

At no point in the two-day schedule of the U.S.-ASEAN summit is there any time allocated for President Joe Biden to meet one-on-one with any of the visiting Southeast Asian leaders. Instead, the eight leaders will meet collectively with the President and other senior-level stakeholders.

This is not a new practice. President Barack Obama ruled out bilateral meetings during the 2014 U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit and Donald Trump did as well in 2017 when he opted instead for a group lunch in New York where he famously thanked the president of the non-existent country of “Nambia.”

  • Get a daily email packed with the latest China-Africa news and analysis.
  • Read exclusive insights on the key trends shaping China-Africa relations.
  • Full access to the News Feed that provides daily updates on Chinese engagement in Africa and throughout the Global South.

China, Africa and the Global South... find out what’s happening.

Subscribe today for unlimited access.

What is The China-Global South Project?


The China-Global South Project is passionately independent, non-partisan and does not advocate for any country, company or culture.


A carefully curated selection of the day’s most important China-Global South stories. Updated 24 hours a day by human editors. No bots, no algorithms.


Diverse, often unconventional insights from scholars, analysts, journalists and a variety of stakeholders in the China-Global South discourse.


A unique professional network of China-Africa scholars, analysts, journalists and other practioners from around the world.