Friday, December 9

Asean Latest: Biden to Cross Paths With Li at East Asia Summit


US President Joe Biden is expected to cross paths with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the East Asia Summit over the weekend, a precursor to his first in-person meeting with President Xi Jinping on Monday

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(Bloomberg) — US President Joe Biden is expected to cross paths with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the East Asia Summit over the weekend, a precursor to his first in-person meeting with President Xi Jinping on Monday

Biden will also hold discussions with several Asian leaders, including US allies South Korea and Japan. He pledged the US would cooperate with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on shared challenges such as the South China Sea and escalating violence in Myanmar.

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He is the first US leader since 2017 to attend the meetings hosted by Asean, which he has used to emphasize his vision for a free and open Indo Pacific to counter China’s growing assertiveness.

Highlights:

  • Biden Raises Concern With Cambodia Over China Ties to Naval Base
  • Biden to Tell Xi to Help With North Korea or Face More US Drills
  • China’s Li Says Nation to Boost Cooperation With Asean on Trade
  • China, Cambodia to Crack Down on Online Gambling, Telecom Scams
  • Indonesia Proposes Ban on Myanmar Junta Beyond Asean Summits
  • Biden Gets Key Break as Southeast Asia Bolsters Militaries

Here are the latest developments. All times Cambodia.

World Leaders Attend East Asia Summit Gala Dinner (7:30 pm)

The US President attended the gala dinner where world leaders were dressed in traditional Cambodian silk and tucked into local dishes. The leaders then settled into an evening of watching traditional and modern dances emphasizing peace and friendship.

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Biden Concerned Over Cambodia Naval Base With China Ties (7:25 pm)

Biden expressed concern to Cambodia’s leader about possible activities by China’s military at a naval base in the country, potentially exacerbating tensions around the South China Sea.

Biden “raised concerns regarding the situation at Ream Naval Base and underscored the importance of full transparency about activities by the PRC military at Ream Naval Base,” the White House said in a statement.

US, Asean Reinforce Ties with New Strategic Pact (7:17 pm)

US and Asean have formed a comprehensive strategic partnership in line with a push that Southeast Asian countries have been making to upgrade ties with some of the world’s biggest economies including India and China.

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This new partnership also has a focus on maritime cooperation through Asean-led mechanisms that aims to uphold freedom of navigation and overflight and peaceful resolution of disputes.

Asean Is Central to US Indo-Pacific Strategy, Biden Says (5:30 pm)

President Joe Biden pledged to work with Asean nations, saying the bloc is central to the US strategy in the Indo-Pacific.

Biden, speaking at the start of a US-ASEAN meeting in Cambodia, pledged cooperation on issues “from the South China Sea to Myanmar and to find innovative new solutions to shared challenges.”

In his brief speech, Biden at one point referred to host Cambodia as Colombia.

Europe to Push for ‘Concrete’ Chinese Pressure on Russia (5:20 pm)

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European Council President Charles Michel said he plans to engage Chinese authorities over the war in Ukraine during the G-20 leaders summit and hopes they will exert “concrete” pressure on Russia over the war in Ukraine.

“It’s important to engage with China,” he told reporters on Saturday in Cambodia. China should “exercise a stronger influence on the Kremlin.” Michel said he has no plans to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who is also in Phnom Penh .

Biden Says Long Agenda to Get Through (4:39 pm)

US President Joe Biden said there was a long agenda to get through, ranging from the pandemic recovery to tackling rising energy prices.

Ahead of a bilateral meeting with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Biden said the US was committed to the return of democracy to Myanmar. He also thanked Hun Sen for Cambodia’s “clear” condemnation of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

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“We have a long agenda today, I know, and I’m anxious to get to it,” Biden told Hun Sen.

Kishida Briefly Chats With Chinese Premier Li (4:30 pm)

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told Premier Li Keqiang he wanted to build a stable and constructive relationship with China in the first face-to-face conversation in about three years, according to Kyodo News.

Kishida’s conversation with Li lasted several minutes, according to Kyodo. Li also talked about the importance of bilateral ties, it said.

Kishida will meet South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Sunday, Kyodo reported, citing the Japanese government.

Albanese Says G-20 Meeting With Xi Not Finalized (1:43 pm)

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said he was waiting to finalize a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping during the G-20 summit next week. “It’s a constructive thing if a meeting takes place,” he said, adding such arrangements at summits are usually last minute.

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He also blasted Russia over the war in Ukraine and said he would not be seeking to meet with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. “Certainly, yesterday’s revelations as well that some of the cyber-attacks in Australia have originated in Russia is a wake up call that Russia has a responsibility to stop criminal activity that’s having a real impact.”

Australia Names Ex-Macquarie CEO as Southeast Asia Envoy (1:33 pm)

Albanese appointed former Macquarie CEO Nicholas Moore as the special envoy for Southeast Asia in a bid to deepen engagement with the region.

Moore is the current Chair of the Financial Regulator Assessment Authority. He is also a member of the University of New South Wales’ Business School Advisory Council.

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Ukraine Says Wanted to Meet with China’s Li at Asean (11:38 am)

Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said he wanted to meet with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the sidelines of the Asean summit but plans had fallen through.

“We will be seeking for another occasion to speak,” Kuleba told reporters, adding that both countries were maintaining dialog “to make sure China uses its leverage on Russia to make them stop the war.”

Ukraine’s top diplomat said his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov did not ask for a meeting. “If he does we will thoroughly consider his request,” Kuleba said. But there is “not one indication Russia wants negotiations.”

US, China Tensions Undermine World’s Capacity for Challenges, UN Says (10:52 am)

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United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said US and China live by two different sets of rules, currencies and strategies for technology that will “undermine the world’s capacity to respond to the dramatic challenges we face.”

Guterres said he is urging the Group of 20 to look at helping countries in the global south that have first been battered by the pandemic and are now struggling with higher food prices due to the war in Ukraine and crippling debt. “A stimulus package is needed to help governments in these developing countries that are struggling,” he told reporters in Cambodia.

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