- World leaders arrive in Bali
- Biden will meet with the Chinese president on Monday
- Japan, South Korea and the United States condemn North Korea’s missile launch
- Australian Prime Minister: Talking with the Chinese Prime Minister is ‘constructive’
- Russia’s Lavrov says the West is militarizing Southeast Asia
NUSA DUA, Indonesia (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden said on Sunday the United States would maintain open lines of communication and would not seek any conflict with China before what are expected to be tense talks on a range of geopolitical issues at the G20. Summit in Indonesia this week.
Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping are set to meet face-to-face on Monday for the first time since Biden took office, with bilateral relations at their worst in decades. Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser, told reporters that the meeting could last “a few hours.”
Biden, who landed on the island of Bali after meeting Southeast Asian and East Asian leaders in Cambodia, said the United States would “compete aggressively” with Beijing while “ensuring that competition does not turn into conflict.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also arrived in Bali from Cambodia earlier on Sunday.
The war in Ukraine and its economic fallout are expected to dominate discussions in Bali and at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in Bangkok this weekend, along with climate commitments, food insecurity and tensions over the Taiwan Strait. South China Sea and North Korea.
Earlier, Lavrov accused the West of militarizing Southeast Asia to contain Chinese and Russian interests on a geostrategic battlefield.
“The United States and its NATO allies are trying to control this space,” Lavrov told reporters.
Lavrov will represent President Vladimir Putin at the summits and is expected to hear scathing rebukes from within the G-20 over the invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow describes as a special military operation.
Ukraine is not a member of the G20 but was invited by host Indonesia as an observer. Its president, Volodymyr Zelensky, will address the meeting virtually.
On Sunday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said the G20 was not a forum for dealing with security issues and should instead focus on pressing global economic challenges.
Biden held a three-way meeting with the leaders of allies Japan and South Korea and said the three countries were “more biased than ever” on North Korea.
South Korean President Yoon Seok-yeol said North Korea’s recent provocations showed “the nature of its regime against humanity,” adding that it has become more aggressive and aggressive based on confidence in its nuclear and missile capabilities.
His Japanese counterpart, Fumio Kishida, said Pyongyang’s actions, which included the recent launch of a ballistic missile at Japan, were unprecedented.
“This tripartite summit is timely because we expect more provocations,” Kishida said.
Kishida also criticized China for what he called violations of Japan’s sovereignty in the East China Sea, and said Beijing is also responsible for escalating regional tension in the South China Sea, an annual trade route of at least $3 trillion.
At a separate news conference, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said his brief discussions the previous day with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang were constructive and positive, with anticipation for a formal summit with Xi.
Like a US ally, Australia’s relations with China have deteriorated in recent years.
“I’ve said over and over again about the relationship with China that we have to cooperate where we can,” Albanese said. “And this dialogue is always a good thing.”
Eighteen countries representing half of the global economy attended the East Asia Summit on Sunday, which was held behind closed doors, and was attended by the ASEAN nations, Japan, South Korea, China, India, the United States, Russia, Australia and New Zealand.
The head of the summit, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said that the plenum had some heated discussions, but the atmosphere was not tense.
“The leaders spoke in a mature way, and no one left,” he told a news conference at the conclusion of the three-day summit led by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
The leaders also called on Myanmar’s military rulers to follow a peace plan they agreed with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), while condemning North Korea’s missile launches and Russia’s “brutal and unjust” invasion of Ukraine.
Additional reporting by Prak Chan Thule and Jiraporn Kohakan in Phnom Penh, Stanley Widianto in Nusa Dua, Indonesia, Jo Min Park, Sakura Murakami, Lika Kihara and Jake Cordell; Written by Martin Petty and Kanupriya Kapoor; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan and Raisa Kasulowski
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