ASEAN summit : The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, established in 1967, is a political and economic union of 10 member states in Southeast Asia.
Washington: US President Joe Biden has announced that he will host a special ASEAN summit of leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations this spring, indicating that China’s aggressive moves in the strategically important region come amid How much importance does he give to his Indo-Pacific policy.
Biden made the announcement at the White House on Tuesday during a joint press conference with visiting Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in Singapore.
“As we look to the future, Prime Minister Lee and I share a commitment to ASEAN and its centrality in everything we do. And I will be meeting ASEAN leaders in Washington, DC for a special summit this spring. Looking forward to hosting it,” Biden told reporters.
exact dates for the special summit have not been announced yet, but are expected to be held soon.
Biden did not give any other details about the particular summit, but the announcement during his meeting with Prime Minister Lee reflects the importance he attaches to his Indo-Pacific policy.
Biden said Singapore and the United States are committed to freedom of navigation as well as the smooth flow of maritime commerce in the South China Sea.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, established in 1967, is a political and economic union of 10 member states in Southeast Asia.
ASEAN summit : Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee has welcomed the decision.
“We welcome his intention to host an ASEAN-US Special Summit here soon. This is a strong affirmation of the US commitment to Southeast Asia and ASEAN centrality. The President and I discussed the importance of the US, In which both the strategic and economic parts of the US are growing in the Asia Pacific,” Lee said.
Biden said the US and Singapore are working to uphold a rules-based international order that supports the founding principles of the United Nations, and to advance a future of the Indo-Pacific that is both free and open.
“We also discussed a range of concerns for peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific. This includes ensuring that all countries in the region, including China, uphold the principles that enable a free and open region. Both Singapore and the United States are committed to the freedom of navigation as well as the unhindered flow of maritime commerce in the South China Sea.”
Beijing claims approximately 1.3 million square miles of the South China Sea as its sovereign territory. China is building military bases on artificial islands in the region, which are also claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.
Beijing has disrupted commercial activities such as fishing or mineral exploration by countries such as Vietnam and the Philippines, claiming that the area has been owned by China for hundreds of years. The vast area is rich in fish deposits and underwater minerals. It has major sea lanes through which approximately USD 5 trillion in global trade travels annually.
Singapore is the second largest Asian investor in the US and the US is the largest investor in Singapore. Exports to Singapore support 1.25 million American jobs from the US and Singapore’s investments in the US. On the defense front, Singapore is a major security cooperation partner of the US, in fact, the only country with this status, he said.
Lee said it is important to advance a positive economic agenda that is open, inclusive, up-to-date and resilient. He said, “We therefore welcome the US’s proposed Indo-Pacific economic framework that will strengthen America’s participation in a developing, regional, economic architecture. I discussed with the President his recent visit to Europe and the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.” “