Administration responds to criticism Biden deprioritizing Asian leaders

Joe Biden
President Joe Biden speaks all through a stop by to O’Connor Farms, Wednesday, May well 11, 2022, in Kankakee, Sick. Biden visited the farm to discuss foodstuff source and costs as a outcome of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. (WHD Photograph/Andrew Harnik) Andrew Harnik/WHD

Administration responds to criticism Biden deprioritizing Asian leaders

Naomi Lim

May 11, 04:42 PM Might 11, 04:42 PM

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The White Home is defending alone from criticism that President Joe Biden is not becoming a “generous” host to his Southeast Asian counterparts though they are in Washington.

The United States is “bending more than backwards” for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations all through its distinctive summit with Biden this Thursday and Friday, in accordance to a senior administration formal.


“The president will have rapid personal time with each of the leaders,” the formal told reporters Wednesday. “We are hoping to balance alternatives for personal interaction with specific nations around the world, but the more substantial engagement with ASEAN as a complete.”

Kao Kim Hourn, a minister and near adviser to Cambodian Key Minister Hun Sen, complained this 7 days that Biden “should be far more generous to the friends,” specially as he seeks to counter China’s impact in the area.

The White Property has been needled on how it will handle Hun as the present ASEAN chairman provided the allegations of corruption and human legal rights violations levied versus the strongman in the course of his 37-yr reign.

“The president will, of program, not hold back again from expressing his views and his priorities to encourage human legal rights in that area,” deputy push secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated before Wednesday.

This week’s exclusive summit is the very first time ASEAN — Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam has convened in Washington, according to the formal Wednesday afternoon. Myanmar has declined to mail a nonpolitical spokesperson, an option compelled by the armed forces regime’s failure to put into practice ASEAN’s five-point consensus.

“We are in conversations about the finest way to represent what has transpired in Burma and how to stand for that in the meeting,” the official stated. “A single of the discussions has been to have an vacant chair to replicate our dissatisfaction with what’s taken position and our hope for a superior route forward.”

In addition to a White Property supper Thursday, this week’s agenda contains engagements with Cabinet associates, lawmakers, and business enterprise executives, this sort of as Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and U.S. Trade Consultant Katherine Tai, in accordance to the formal. Subject areas are expected to variety from the COVID-19 pandemic to technology, local weather, and vitality.

The ASEAN summit precedes Biden’s trip to Japan and South Korea later on this month, where he will fulfill with their respective freshly elected heads of federal government. Biden will also converse with Quadrilateral Stability Dialogue participants Australia, India, and Japan in Tokyo.

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