ASEAN leader’s visit to Washington, Biden ‘too busy’ to arrange talks, criticized for neglect

US President Biden. (Reuters)

“ASEAN Special Summit” to be held on 12th and 13thWashingtonThis was the first time that the ASEAN summit was held in Washington. The United States expects ASEAN countries to participate in the upcoming “Indo-Pacific Economic Framework”, and ASEAN members also look forward to closer ties with the United States. However, the President of the United StatesBidenHowever, being very busy, the summit has so far not arranged any bilateral talks, leading Cambodia, ASEAN’s rotating president, to complain that it has been abandoned.

The summit was originally scheduled to be held on March 28, but the US temporarily announced that it would be postponed until May before the meeting, on the grounds that some ASEAN leaders would not be able to attend the meeting due to their schedule. were unable to. Now that ten ASEAN countries have been kicked out of Myanmar’s military government, the Philippines has just held a presidential election to prepare to hand over power, and the leaders of the other eight countries have all gone to Washington, but Biden has not. Time to arrange any bilateral meeting with leaders remotely.

Gao Jinhua, assistant minister to the Cambodian prime minister and adviser to Prime Minister Hun Sen, said Murphy had told him that there had been no bilateral talks between Biden and Hun Sen or other leaders because the summit itself was too long. and “Biden was too busy.” Biden has been very busy lately. He will also host the Global New Crown Epidemic Summit beginning on the 12th.

Gao Jinhua said ASEAN leaders “should be treated with respect and equality” and given time to speak with Biden.

“As a great power and host, America must be more lenient with its guests, with leaders flying all the way to Washington, especially as Biden moves the strategic partnership to a broader strategic partnership.” Let’s prepare to discuss the raise,” he told Reuters. ,

He added that it is understandable that Biden is busy dealing with the domestic inflation crisis and the Russian-Ukrainian war, but at least Biden should meet with presidential leaders, whether on a formal or informal occasion, to some degree. Negotiation.

The White House did not comment on this. Earlier, White House spokesman Shaki had said that Biden would host a dinner at the White House to welcome ASEAN leaders on the 12th and would also attend the summit on the 13th.

The focus of the summit included the Russo-Ukrainian war, the new crown pandemic, the U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy and “Indo-Pacific Economic Talk”, etc. It is believed that Biden will ask ASEAN to cooperate with the United Nations. State in the Russo-Ukrainian War.RussiaTake a tough stand. So far only Singapore has announced sanctions against Russia among ASEAN members.

ASEAN foreign ministers issued a joint statement in March this year calling for an immediate ceasefire, but refrained from mentioning the words “Russia” or “aggression” in the statement, sparking debate, and later clarified that ASEAN Does not endorse the use of force.

Russia has close bilateral ties with Myanmar, Vietnam and Indonesia, and is also a major supplier of arms to Southeast Asia. ASEAN is reluctant to intervene in the Russo-Ukrainian war. Biden may find it difficult to achieve cooperation between ASEAN and the United States on this subject.

In addition, after taking office, Biden focused on a “free and open Indo-Pacific region” in his diplomacy, seeking to suppress the influence of mainland China. Last year, he announced the establishment of AUKUS, along with Britain and Australia, which made up Indonesia. And Malaysia and other ASEAN countries feel uneasy and worried that it will damage a regional arms race.

As far as the US As for the Indo-Pacific economic structure, Gao Jinhua said that so far it is only a “semi-finished product” and lacks specific ingredients, and they don’t know too many details.

ASEAN has always been neutral on international issues. Gao Jinhua said that Cambodia would not choose sides between Washington and Beijing, reflecting the attitude of the ASEAN countries; Economic development is the priority, not the one the major country is close to.

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