The United States is committed to be engaged in Southeast Asia, President Joe Biden has said, drinking a peak with leaders of the 10- member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEA) in Washington, DC, as a “ new period” in relations.
Speaking on the alternate day of the two-day meeting, Biden told the leaders on Friday that “ a great deal of the history of our world in the coming 50 times is going to be written in the ASEAN countries”.
And our relationship with you is the future, in the coming times and decades,” he said.
The peak marks the first time ASEAN leaders have been invited to the White House 45 times. In 2016, President Obama was the first US leader to host the peak, also held in Rancho Mirage, California.
“ We ’re launching a new period – a new period – in US-ASEAN relations,” Biden said.
Speaking at the Department of State before on Friday, Vice President Kamala Harris told the leaders that the Biden administration “recognizes the vital strategic significance of your region, a part that will only grow with time”.
“ As an Indo-Pacific nation, the United States will be present and continue to be engaged in Southeast Asia for generations to come,” she said.
While Russia’s irruption of Ukraine was on the docket, the Biden administration hoped to demonstrate that Washington remains concentrated on the Asia-Pacific as Beijing becomes a decreasingly important player in the region.
Pressures have grown between China and the US in recent times over a host of issues, including Taiwan and the South China Sea, the ultimate of which China claims nearly entirely as its own, despite contending claims from other countries in the region.
The war in Ukraine has tested those formerly shaky ties, with elderly US officers including President Joe Biden himself constantly advising the Chinese government against abetting Russia in its continuing irruption.
The opening session of the ASEAN meeting at the Department of State on Friday concentrated on maritime security and health issues, Harris said, while a latterly one was centered on climate and clean energy.
She didn’t mention China directly, but said the US stood with its “ abettors and mates in defending the maritime rules- grounded order, which includes freedom of navigation and transnational law”.
Biden took office in January 2021 saying that his top foreign policy precedence would be global competition with China.
His administration formerly promised$ 150m in new enterprise during the peak, including support for maritime security, with the US Coast Guard to emplace a knife in Southeast Asia to help fight illegal fishing and other crime.
Biden is anticipated to advertise a broader package, the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework when he travels coming week to Japan and South Korea.
Before a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said she hoped “ to see community between the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework with perpetration of cooperation under the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific”.
Marsudi also stressed that Indonesia, which is hosting a G20 peak in July, hoped to see the war in Ukraine come to an end as soon as possible.
Indonesia has invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to attend the meeting, despite US calls to insulate him, but in a concession said it would also drink Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
“ On the global issue, I would like to reiterate the veritably harmonious principle of Indonesia on the significance of esteeming territorial integrity and sovereignty of a country to another country,” said Marsudi, according to a Department of State readout.
“ Our stopgap is to see the war in Ukraine stop as soon as possible, and we give the peaceful resolution of a conflict a chance to succeed. Because we know that if the war continues, all of us will suffer.”
For his part, Blinken thanked Marsudi for Indonesia’s leadership in the region.
“ We’re working together across the board to advance a participated vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific region. We’re working to strengthen profitable ties among countries in the region. We’re working together to deal with global challenges, like COVID-19,” he said.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES