US Downgrading of Summit Representations Sets Worrying Precedent for ASEAN

Tang Siew Mun|Glenn Ong

The appointment of National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien as the United States' Special Envoy to the East Asia Summit should have been seen as a sign of encouragement due to his close connection to the President. But it may also be perceived as a snub as he will be the first US delegate who is deemed to be not senior enough in the pecking order.