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Joe Biden talked at length as a presidential candidate about the need to focus on China’s rising global power. Yet 17 months after taking office, Asian leaders are still waiting for details on a strategy for more U.S. economic engagement in the region.

Before Biden touched down in South Korea on Friday, many officials in the region struggled to understand the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework — the main policy initiative he plans to unveil on the five-day trip. The U.S. ambassador to Japan, Rahm Emanuel, said this week that some governments were asking “What is it we’re signing up to?”

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