Biden to urge Xi at G20 N.Korea talks

Biden to urge Xi at G20 N.Korea talks


US President Joe Biden landed in Asia on Saturday and vowed to urge Chinese leader Xi Jinping to rein in North Korea when they hold their first in-person meeting at next week’s G20 summit.

Biden landed in Phnom Penh to meet with Southeast Asian leaders before meeting his Chinese counterpart in Bali on Monday.

The meeting between the two superpowers comes after a record-breaking spate of missile tests by North Korea sparked fears the reclusive state would soon conduct its seventh nuclear test.

At Monday’s meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit, Biden Xi will tell China — Pyongyang’s biggest ally — “has an interest in playing a constructive role in containing North Korea’s worst tendencies,” the US national security adviser said. Jake Sullivan, to reporters.

Biden will also tell Xi that if North Korea’s missile and nuclear buildup “continues down this path, it will simply mean a further increased American military and security presence in the region.”

Sullivan said Biden will not make demands on China but will give Xi “his perspective.”

That is, “North Korea poses a threat not just to the United States, not just to (South Korea) and Japan, but to peace and stability throughout the region.”

Whether China wants to increase the pressure on North Korea is “of course up to them,” Sullivan said.

However, with North Korea rapidly ramping up its missile capabilities, “the operational situation is more acute at the present moment,” Sullivan said.

Biden and Xi, leaders of the world’s two largest economies, have spoken on the phone several times since Biden became president in January 2021.

But the Covid-19 pandemic and Xi’s later reluctance to travel abroad have prevented them from meeting in person.

– Regional Rivalry –

The two have no shortage of topics to talk about as Washington and Beijing clashed over issues ranging from trade to human rights in China’s Xinjiang region and the status of the self-governing island of Taiwan.

UN chief Antonio Guterres has urged the two sides to work together and on Friday warned of “a growing risk of the global economy being split in two, led by the two largest economies – the United States and China”.

Ahead of the G20, Biden will advance US engagement with Southeast Asia in meetings with leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to counter Beijing’s influence in the region.

China has flexed its muscles in recent years – through trade, diplomacy and military prowess – in a region it sees as its strategic backyard.

Biden flew to Phnom Penh with an agenda that emphasized his administration’s policy of “increasing” the US presence in the region as a guarantee of stability, Sullivan said.

Biden will advocate “the necessity of freedom of navigation for lawful, unhindered trade and for the United States to play a constructive role in maintaining peace and stability in the region.”

“He wants to use the next 36 hours to build on that foundation to advance American engagement,” Sullivan said, noting that this will include transforming US-ASEAN ties at the summit into a “comprehensive strategic partnership.” ” to raise.

– Xi emerges, Putin absent –

Biden and Xi are both entering the G20 buoyed by recent domestic gains: Biden’s party has produced surprisingly strong mid-term results and Xi has secured a landmark third term as China’s leader.

At last month’s Communist Party congress, where he was re-anointed party leader, Xi warned of a challenging geopolitical climate without mentioning the United States by name while weaving a narrative of China’s “inevitable” triumph over adversity.

The G20 summit will be the latest step in a post-pandemic diplomatic resurgence for Xi – coming less than two weeks after he received Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Beijing.

In addition to Biden, Xi will also meet French President Emmanuel Macron before traveling to Bangkok for the APEC summit later in the week.

Notably absent from the summit will be Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was shunned by the West for his invasion of Ukraine and is sending Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov instead.

Lavrov will push Moscow’s view that the United States is “destabilizing” the Asia-Pacific region with a confrontational approach, Russia’s TASS news agency reported.

The Kremlin has close ties to Vietnam and Myanmar – whose military is a major buyer of Russian arms – while other regional governments have avoided joining Western efforts to isolate Moscow over the invasion of Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is expected to attend the G20 virtually after his request to address the ASEAN meeting was turned down.

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