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US President Joe Biden plans ‘several’ stops on Asia trip, region to remain the focus: US official

“The President will travel later this year to Tokyo for the Quad Summit, as part of our commitment to regularise our engagement through the Quad, which continues to operate at full speed,” the senior US official advised Reuters in an e-mail late Tuesday.

“The President will also make several other stops on that trip,” added the official, who declined to elaborate.

In stressing the US dedication to the region, the official pointed to US plans to host a summit with leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and for Secretary of State Antony Blinken to go to Australia subsequent week for a Quad international ministers’ assembly.

The administration additionally plans to launch a brand new Pacific Islands initiative with allies and companions that might convey collectively regional international locations “to coordinate our actions, drive resources, and raise our ambition in the region, including on climate, maritime, and transportation issues”, the official mentioned.

It would, at the similar time, finalise negotiations on Compacts of Free Association: Agreements with three Pacific Island international locations – the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia and Palau – that facilitate US navy entry. They are due to expire in 2023 in the case of the former two states and in 2024 in the case of Palau.

US Indo-Pacific coordinator Kurt Campbell warned final month the Pacific may very well be the a part of the world most probably to see “strategic surprise” – feedback apparently referring to attainable Chinese ambitions to set up Pacific-island bases.

Campbell mentioned the United States had not completed sufficient to help the region and that there was a really brief period of time, working with companions like Australia, New Zealand, Japan and fellow Pacific energy France, “to step up our game across the board”.

The senior administration official mentioned an announcement of “concrete offerings” below an Indo-Pacific Economic Framework initiative Biden introduced in October is also anticipated “soon”. The official mentioned progress was additionally being made in an settlement dubbed AUKUS for the United States and Britain to work with Australia to present it with nuclear-powered submarines.

Biden has visited the region a number of occasions throughout his greater than three a long time as a senator and as vp in the Obama administration.

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