Biden is scheduled to meet top US allies Japan and South Korea following a midterm boost

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

President Joe Biden Landed in Cambodia on Saturday Still happy Midterm election results That created an unexpected boost at home for his second two-year term.

The scale of the challenges abroad and the effort to translate 21 months of intensive engagement into concrete results for US alliances will test the value of that political capital on the international stage. As votes are still being counted.

Biden is set to face a series of tough challenges as he sits down with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol. An assertive and confrontational China, long the central animating issue of the Biden administration, looms large.

Biden will also meet separately with Kishida and Yun before their trilateral meeting.

Advisers see Biden’s stop at the Asia Summit as a clear boost from fueling historic and political trends in the midterm elections. While Biden’s message may not change dramatically, the weight behind it is undoubtedly much stronger after delivering a message that surpasses the hopes of the most optimistic White House officials in the American electorate.

The three world leaders met earlier in June on the sidelines of a NATO summit and pledged to improve cooperation – a complex task for key US allies. It has a rich historical relationship.

But that cooperation is necessary because North Korea’s latest, more aggressive aggression will be on the minds of all three leaders on Sunday. North Korea has launched missiles on 32 days this year. According to CNN In both ballistic and cruise missiles. Instead, it conducted only four tests in 2020 and eight in 2021.

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National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan suggested on Saturday that the meeting would not lead to specific deliveries, telling reporters aboard Air Force One that the leaders could “discuss broader security issues in the Indo-Pacific and, in particular, threats from North Korea.” Missile and Nuclear Programs.”

The trilateral comes a day before a high-stakes, one-on-one meeting for Biden with Chinese President Xi Jinping, their first in-person meeting since Biden took office. The meeting will be held on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali.

Speaking to reporters Sunday morning, Biden said he was entering the meeting with Xi from a position of relative strength.

“I know I’m coming out strong,” he said, adding that he knew Xi well and there was “very little misunderstanding” between the two leaders.

“We have to figure out what the red lines are, what are the most important things for each of us in the next few years,” Biden said.

Biden, Yun and Fumio will discuss Monday’s meeting during a trilateral meeting.

“One thing that President Biden certainly wants to do with our closest allies is to preview what he wants to do, and to the leaders of (South Korea) and Japan, ‘What do you want me to raise? What do you want me to go in with?'” Sullivan said. , said it would be “a topic, but not the main event of the tripartite”.

Earlier on Sunday, Biden will attend the East Asia Summit, which will be a spin-off of the ASEAN Summit on Saturday aimed at improving US-Indo-Pacific relations. He meets Fumio and Yun before leaving for Bali.

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This part of the trip, a senior administration official told reporters on a call earlier this week, reflects the “intense engagement with ASEAN and Southeast Asia” during the Biden administration.

Biden, the official added, “will set our sights on maintaining the momentum of enhanced engagement and addressing concerns of importance to ASEAN in ways they seek,” keeping with an ongoing theme during the Biden presidency building. Alliance in strategic competition with China.

Among the main topics to be discussed this weekend in Cambodia, the official said, is the ongoing conflict in Myanmar, where the military seized power in a coup last year.

World leaders will discuss “respect for human rights, the rule of law and good governance, a rules-based international order and efforts to resolve the crisis in Burma.”

Biden arrived in Phnom Penh on Saturday after attending the ASEAN-US summit, where he held bilateral meetings with ASEAN leaders and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.

“This is my third visit, my third summit—the second in person—and is a testament to the importance the United States places on our relationship with ASEAN and our commitment to ASEAN’s centrality. ASEAN is the heart of my administration’s Indo-Pacific strategy. And we continue our commitment to working in lockstep with an empowered, integrated ASEAN.” And strengthening,” Biden said in brief opening remarks as the summit began.

On Friday, Biden made a three-hour stop in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, where he attended the COP27 climate summit and met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

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