Dhe summit of the Southeast Asian community of states ASEAN in Cambodia is entering the critical phase with the arrival of US President Joe Biden. Biden landed on Air Force One in the capital Phnom Penh on Saturday morning local time. In the afternoon, a meeting with the host Prime Minister Hun Sen was on the agenda. Biden also wants to give a speech at the annual US-ASEAN summit. With his visit, he wants to woo the emerging Asian nations and push back China’s growing influence in the region.
ASEAN is currently made up of ten countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines and Myanmar. The crisis in former Burma following the February 2021 military coup is seen as one of the key points of the talks.
Three important dates in Asia
The ASEAN meeting marks the beginning of a series of three summits and important diplomatic meetings in Southeast Asia. In addition to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba will be in Phnom Penh. It was unclear whether bilateral meetings about the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine are planned.
On Sunday, Biden plans to meet South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol and Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit to discuss North Korea’s recent missile test provocations.
Biden and Xi will meet
In addition, Biden will coordinate with South Korea and Japan for a meeting with China’s head of state and party leader Xi Jinping planned for Monday on the Indonesian island of Bali, said his security adviser Jake Sullivan. The meeting is eagerly awaited: it is the first meeting between the two presidents since Biden took office.
Relations are worse than ever. Points of contention are China’s backing for Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Ukraine war, the ongoing trade war, tensions over democratic Taiwan and China’s disputed territorial claims in the South China Sea. China accuses the US of wanting to hinder its rise in the world. The US, in turn, increasingly sees China as an economic rival and a threat to its security.
G-20 Summit in Bali
The day after, the two-day summit of the group of major economic powers (G20) begins on the Indonesian island of Bali, in which Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) will also take part. Scholz has previously visited Vietnam and Singapore. Ahead of the summit, activists urged greater financial commitments to fight growing world hunger and climate change. The G 20 should give new impetus to the negotiations at the COP27 world climate conference in Egypt.
The group is responsible for 80 percent of carbon emissions. The G 20 includes the European Union and the strongest economies on all continents. These are 19 countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, France, Great Britain, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey and the USA.
Taiwan is also present at the APEC summit
At the end of the series of summits, the Asia-Pacific Summit (APEC) will take place on Friday and Saturday in the Thai capital Bangkok. Among others, Xi Jinping, US Vice President Kamala Harris and French President Emmanuel Macron will be arriving.
The forum brings together 21 economies around the Pacific: the US, China, Japan, Russia, South Korea, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Peru, New Zealand, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Hong Kong, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam – and Taiwan, which has a rare opportunity here under the art name “Chinese Taipei” to sit at the table at an international forum. Because pressure from China has prevented elected top politicians from attending the meeting, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, as in previous years, sent Morris Chang, the founder of the leading semiconductor producer TSMC.