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Biden plans ‘several’ stops on Asia trip, region to remain focus -U.S. official

US President Joe Biden rekindles the Cancer Monthly initiative on February 2 in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, with the goal of reducing cancer deaths by 50% over the next 25 years. I will give a lecture at. 2022.Reuters / Cheris May

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Washington, February 2 (Reuters)-Joe Biden plans to make several stops on his visit to Asia this spring.

Officials wiped out questions about whether the Ukrainian crisis could distract the government from Asia, saying, “We continue to prioritize the focus of the Indo-Pacific and will increase in the future.” Stated.

Officials refused to reveal details of other stops in the area on Wednesday, subject to anonymity. The Biden administration has declared priority with the aim of countering China’s growing power and influence.

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US officials said Biden had accepted an invitation to visit Japan to attend a quad summit that groups Japan, the United States, Australia and India at the end of spring, but details are still under consideration.

Those familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday that the trip could be in May, with concerns about China and North Korea as a top priority, and Washington is considering having Biden visit South Korea at the same time. Said.

The Yomiuri Shimbun in Japan on Tuesday quoted several government sources that the visit to Tokyo could be in the second half of May.

“The president has promised to visit Tokyo later this year for the quad summit and be regularly involved through the quad,” a senior US official told Reuters.

“The president will also make some other stops on the trip,” an official who declined to elaborate added.

In emphasizing the US commitment to the region, officials have hosted a summit meeting with leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), noting Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s plans to visit Australia in the quad next week. Foreign Ministers’ Meeting..

The administration also launched a new Pacific Islands initiative with allies and partners to bring together the countries of the region “to coordinate actions, promote resources and increase ambition in the region, including climate, maritime and transportation issues.” intend to do something. The official said.

At the same time, the negotiations on the Compact of Free Association will be finalized. An agreement with the three Pacific Islands, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and Palau, to facilitate US military access. It will expire in 2023 for the previous two states and in 2024 for Palau.

Kurt Campbell, US Indo-Pacific coordinator, warned last month that the Pacific could be part of the world most likely to see “strategic surprises.” read more

Campbell said the United States hasn’t done enough to support the region and has worked with partners such as Australia, New Zealand, Japan and France, a fellow of PacifiCorp, to “whole our game. The time to strengthen the target was very short. ” “”

Government officials said they could expect “immediate” announcements of “concrete offerings” under the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework Initiative announced in October. Officials said an agreement called AUKUS was underway for the United States and the United Kingdom to work with Australia to provide nuclear submarines.

Biden has visited the region many times for over 30 years as a senator and vice president of the Obama administration.

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Reported by David Brunnstrom and Michael Martina.Edited by Jonathan Oatis

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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