Press "Enter" to skip to content

Biden pledges to work with ASEAN nations, slips up name of summit host

President Joe Biden has promised that the United States would work with a strategically vital coalition of southeast Asian nations, telling leaders that “we’re going to build a better future that we all want to see.”

Citing the three Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summits he has participated in as president, Biden said on Saturday that the 10-country bloc is “at the heart of my administration’s Indo-Pacific strategy.” 

He promised to collaborate to build a region that is “free and open, stable and prosperous, resilient and secure.” 

“I look forward to continuing our work together with ASEAN and with each one of you to deepen peace and prosperity throughout the region to resolve challenges from the South China Sea to Myanmar and to find innovative solutions to shared challenges,” Biden said, citing climate and health security among areas of collaboration. 

Biden’s efforts at this year’s ASEAN summit are meant to lay the groundwork for his highly anticipated meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping — the first face-to-face encounter of Biden’s presidency with a leader whose nation the US now considers its most potent economic and military rival.

READ MORE: ASEAN summit begins in Cambodia with focus on Myanmar

Cambodia or Colombia? 

Biden referred to Cambodia, which is hosting the summit, as

“Now that we’re back together here in Cambodia, I look
forward to building even stronger progress than we’ve already
made, and I want to thank the Prime Minister of Colombia for his
leadership as ASEAN chair and for hosting all of us,” Biden said on Saturday while meeting his counterparts in the ASEAN in Phnom Penh.

He was referring to Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia, who
is currently chairing the 10-member regional bloc.

The president, who is on a whirlwind trip with stops at the
COP27 climate summit in Egypt, ASEAN in Phnom Penh and the G20
summit in Indonesia, made a similar slip-up while speaking to
reporters at the White House recently.

The Democratic president, who turns 80 on November 20, this week said he intends to run for re-election in 2024, with a final decision likely early next year.

Biden’s occasional verbal stumbles and tendency to meander off script during live appearances have been seized on by his Republican critics as proof he’s too old for the job.

READ MORE: Trump to declare 2024 presidential bid in ‘buttoned-up announcement’

More from AsiaMore posts in Asia »

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *