PRESIDENT Joseph R. Biden will host leaders of ASEAN countries on May 12-13 in Washington, signaling US efforts to engage with the group in the competition with China for regional influence.

A White House statement announcing the special summit with the 10-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations said the US administration shares a “commitment to advance an Indo-Pacific that is free and open, secure, connected, and resilient.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken criticized China’s “aggressive actions” in Asia on a trip to the region in December, prompting the Foreign Ministry in Beijing to say the US was “inciting bloc confrontation.”

ASEAN’s most populous members are Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam. China isn’t a member. — Bloomberg