USA versus China. The United States is strengthening its cooperation with ASEAN
“Together we will tackle the biggest problems of our time,” said Biden, quoted by Kyodopo, arriving in Phnom Penh. He pointed to the need to defend against threats to the rules-based international order and the Indo-Pacific that will be “free and open, stable and prospering, resilient and secure”.
China is ASEAN’s largest trading partner, but its assertive behavior also creates friction, Kyodo points out, pointing to Beijing’s territorial claims at issue with the claims of four bloc countries: Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam, as well as the PRC’s conflict with Taiwan.
The White House has published a list of new initiatives that it has prepared for the USA-ASEAN Summit and Sunday’s East Asia Summit, which includes ASEAN (Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Burma, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei) and Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea and the United States, reported Daniel Kritenbrink of the State Department.
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These initiatives include cooperation in combating illegal and unregulated fishing and implementing infrastructure for electric vehiclesto help ASEAN countries reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
According to Kyodo, in talks with officials from ASEAN countries, Biden probably discussed the situation in Burma after last year’s military coupin hopes of putting pressure on the junta to put the country back on the road to democracy.
During a meeting with Cambodia’s Prime Minister, Hun Sen, on the fringes of the ASEAN Summit, Biden expressed concern over Chinese activities at the Ream naval base The White House informed. As reported by the Washington Post, parts of the Cambodian Ream Naval Base on the Gulf of Thailand are to be allocated to the exclusive use of the Chinese army.
Biden also called on the Prime Minister of Cambodia to release the activists detained for political reasons and the opening of political and civic space for next year’s elections.
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