President Biden on Saturday highlighted the importance of the US’s partnership with Southeast Asian countries, saying the partnership is needed to “solve the best problems of our time.”
Mr. Biden’s remarks on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Cambodia were intended to spotlight america’ commitment to a region where China is increasingly searching for to expand its economic and military influence. Chinese President Xi Jinping was also present on the summit of the 10-nation bloc.
Earlier on Saturday, Biden met with Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Cambodia. He also attended a gala dinner and met with other Southeast Asian leaders to take the standard “family photo”. Biden is just the second US president to go to Cambodia, which each Washington and Beijing are captivated with.
These events were an occasion for Mr Biden to put the groundwork with other Asian leaders, who’re largely US allies, ahead of his eagerly anticipated meeting with Mr Xi on Monday within the margins of the Bali 20 Summit in Indonesia.
In his summit remarks, Mr. Biden stressed the importance of the US-ASEAN Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, saying that his journey was “a testament to the importance america attaches to our relationship with ASEAN and our commitment to ASEAN’s point of interest.”
“ASEAN is at the center of my administration’s Indo-Pacific strategy. And we proceed to strengthen our commitment to work in close cooperation with a strengthened, united ASEAN, ”the president added.
Mr. Biden called the partnership “the subsequent critical step” that “will solve the best problems of our time, starting from climate-based health security, defending against serious threats to rules-based order and the rule of law, and constructing an Indo-Pacific that’s free and open, stable and prosperous, resistant and protected. “
The president also identified that in his last budget proposal he sought $ 850 million in aid for the region.
Mr. Biden then travels to Bali for 3 days for the G20 summit. On this trip, Biden will meet his Chinese counterpart to ease tensions between the 2 nations.
Chatting with reporters on Friday night, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Biden’s talks in Cambodia would affect his meeting with Mr. Xi.
“One thing President Biden actually desires to do with our closest allies is preview what he’ll do and in addition ask leaders [South Korea] and Japan: “What would you want me to choose up? What do you wish me to are available with? ” Mr. Sullivan said.