Biden working behind China to build ties with Southeast Asia

Phnom Penh – President Joe Biden Officially Begins Participation Conference of Southeast Asian Nations On Saturday, it aims to highlight US commitments in a region where a looming China is also looking to expand its influence.

Mr. Biden’s efforts Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit It is intended to lay the groundwork ahead of a long-awaited meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping – first meeting The relationship between Biden’s presidency and the leader the US now sees as its own most powerful economic and military rivals.

The two leaders will meet on Monday at this year’s G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, which will bring together the leaders of the world’s largest economies.

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, who visited Phnom Penh on Saturday, said Biden would raise issues such as freedom of navigation and illegal and unregulated fishing by China with ASEAN leaders.

Freedom of navigation refers to disputes over the South China Sea. The United States claims it can navigate and fly wherever international law allows, but China believes such a mission would be destabilizing. Sullivan said the United States would play an important role as a stabilizing force in the region and in preventing any country from engaging in “persistent intimidation and coercion that are fundamentally detrimental to ASEAN countries and others.” said it is fulfilling.

“There’s a real demand signal in that,” Sullivan told reporters on board Air Force One on Saturday. Regarding the People’s Republic of China, Sullivan continued:

One of the new initiatives related to those efforts, which Biden will discuss later Saturday, will focus on maritime awareness, Sullivan said. Specifically, it says it uses radio frequencies from commercial satellites to better track dark ships and illegal fishing.

Mr. Biden’s visit to Cambodia is only the second in U.S. president history and continues his administration’s move to show its investments in the South Pacific. White House hosts ASEAN summit It’s the first of its kind in Washington.He also tapped one of his senior aidesJohannes Abraham, as the official special envoy to the bloc of 10 countries that make up ASEAN, is another way the White House has underscored its commitment.

ASEAN is looking to elevate the US to the status of a “comprehensive strategic partnership” this year. This is largely a symbol of strengthening relations between the two countries, but it also puts Washington on the same level as China, which was given this distinction last year.

Biden will begin the day in Phnom Penh by meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia, the host country of the regional summit. He then speaks at the annual US-ASEAN Summit, participates in a traditional family photo with Southeast Asian leaders, and attends a gala dinner hosted by a parallel summit in Cambodia focused on East Asia.

another topic Biden raises Myanmar, where the military government overthrew the ruling government in February 2021 and arrested democratically elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Sullivan said that while in Phnom Penh, the president will discuss with other leaders how to “coordinate more closely to keep imposing costs and increasing pressure” on the military. Stated. A pre-coup democratic form of government.

Biden is scheduled to attend an East Asia summit on Sunday, including meetings with South Korean and Japanese leaders, before leaving for the G20 summit in Bali.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission. Biden working behind China to build ties with Southeast Asia

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