He will attend the ASEAN Summits in Cambodia and the G-20 in Indonesia. Biden meets his Chinese counterpart for the first time | news
US President Joe Biden arrived in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh on Saturday to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meetings that kick off a five-day tour of Asia in which he will take part in a series of summits, including his first face-to-face meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Indonesia.
Speaking at the summit, Biden – who has become the first US president to attend ASEAN meetings since 2017 – said that ASEAN “is at the heart of our strategy and we are trying to expand cooperation with it,” adding that this Funds have been allocated and initiatives launched to strengthen ASEAN.
He also said that the United States continues to support its involvement in building a strong ASEAN, believing that the United States-ASEAN comprehensive strategic partnership will solve the biggest problems.
In this regard, Biden said they are trying to resolve issues stretching from the South China Sea to Myanmar in cooperation with ASEAN, and he also stated that he will discuss “Russia’s brutal war in Ukraine” with the summit leaders .
On the sidelines of the summit, Biden met with Cambodian Prime Minister Se Hoon, and the White House said Biden stressed the importance of full transparency regarding the activities of the Chinese army at the Cambodian naval base in Jeram during the meeting, also saying that Biden and Hoon stressed the responsibility of the international community in promoting a return to democracy in Myanmar.
Biden is also scheduled to meet with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang at a parallel summit of East Asian countries also scheduled to be held in Cambodia on Sunday.
Biden arrived in Cambodia from Egypt after attending the COP 27 climate summit, and after attending the ASEAN summit, Biden will travel to the Indonesian island of Bali to attend the G-20 summit on Tuesday and Wednesday, where he will will hold his first meeting since taking power with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.
The ASEAN summit is expected to focus on the war between Russia and Ukraine, Chinese military activities in the disputed waters and unrest in Myanmar following the military coup.
Washington is seeking increased cooperation with the 10 member states of the Association of ASEAN to counteract China’s growing influence in the Asia-Pacific region.
Earlier, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Biden will discuss with ASEAN leaders the need for freedom of navigation and ensure the United States plays a constructive role in maintaining peace and stability in the region.
He added that the US President will discuss with his Japanese and South Korean counterparts during the ASEAN summit what Sullivan called North Korea’s missile and nuclear threats.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will attend some meetings, while Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba is also in Cambodia after signing the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation with ASEAN as Kyiv seeks to strengthen ties with the bloc.
South Korea calls for action against its northern neighbor
South Korean President Yoon Sok-yeol, for his part, said during a press conference in Cambodia on the sidelines of the summit that North Korea’s series of provocations and attempts to upgrade its nuclear and missile capabilities pose a serious threat to the international community.
He added that if North Korea conducts new missile or nuclear tests, the international community should react as one.
Yun also proposed a trilateral dialogue mechanism with China and Japan, including holding a summit of leaders to address issues such as security and climate change.
Yoon is expected to hold a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Sunday on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit, a meeting with the US president tomorrow and a tripartite summit with Biden and Kishida, Yonhap news agency reports, citing South Korea’s presidential office.
Meet the Chinese President
After attending the ASEAN summit, Biden will travel to the Indonesian island of Bali to attend the G-20 summit next Tuesday and Wednesday.
In this regard, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said that Biden will raise the issue of North Korea during the meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on the sidelines of that summit, when they meet for the first time.
Sullivan, speaking on Air Force One en route to Cambodia, said Biden will not apply for China but will share his “view” with Xi Jinping.
This view is that “North Korea poses a threat not only to the United States, not only to South Korea and Japan, but also to peace and stability throughout the region.”
He added that China “has an interest in playing a constructive role in containing North Korea’s worst tendencies,” noting that the US president will tell his Chinese counterpart that if Pyongyang moves forward, it will a stronger American military presence in the region. and pointed out that the face-to-face meeting of the two presidents will allow for clarification of positions and better understanding.
For its part, China expressed hope that it would meet halfway with the United States, and Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian expressed hope that the differences between the two sides would be properly managed to avoid miscalculation, as he put it.
Biden and Xi (the heads of the world’s two largest economies) have spoken repeatedly by phone since the Democrat became president in January 2021, but the “Covid-19” pandemic and Xi’s reluctance to travel abroad prevented their face-to-face meeting.
Guterres appeals to Myanmar
In a different context, on Saturday, from Phnom Penh where Southeast Asian leaders were meeting, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on the military council in Myanmar to “return immediately to the path of democratization”.
Guterres described the situation in Myanmar as an “endless nightmare” that has witnessed a bloody conflict since the coup in February 2021, for which a peaceful solution has not yet been found.
“I urge the Myanmar authorities to listen to their people, release political prisoners and immediately return to the path of democratic transition. This is the only path to stability and peace,” Guterres told reporters.
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders, meeting at a summit in Cambodia yesterday Friday, agreed to “engage” opposition groups in the Myanmar peace process, but their announcement angered Naypyidaw, who “condemned” her decision. on dialogue with “illegal and terrorist organizations”, as described.
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