Restoring relationships with friends and allies damaged by Donald Trump has been a foreign policy priority for U.S. President Joe Biden. He has been largely successful in doing so through the “Quad” and the Group of Seven frameworks aimed at meeting the challenges posed by China.

However there was one important group of countries that the White House seemed to overlook in the early months of his presidency — the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). In the first six months of his administration, Biden spoke with over 40 leaders of the world by phone, but he had not done so with a single ASEAN leader.

Fortunately, things have changed for the better recently, with Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman visiting Indonesia, Cambodia and Thailand in June, followed by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s travels to Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines last month. Vice President Kamala Harris also traveled to Vietnam and Singapore for talks in August.