The first Asia trip after Biden took office, the focus is on China
2022-05-20: [Article Link]
Biden left on board Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland. (A Associated Press)
On May 19, local time, US President Biden set out to travel to Asia, the first time he had visited Asia since taking office. At Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, Biden left on Air Force One and travelled to Seoul, South Korea, where he would be transferred to Japan after completing his trip. Chongryon reported that the first stop of the journey was to visit the Samsung semiconductor factory in Hizawa, Beijing, after Biden had arrived at the Ushan Air Force base in Beijing City. Yoon Suk-yeol said in the morning of Friday (20 May): "The Biden visit promises to make the Korean-American alliance stronger and more inclusive, as the international community is undergoing many changes."
On the afternoon of Saturday (21st), Biden will travel to Seoul National School of Chuen Carrow Cave in Seoul and then meet with Yoon Suk-yeol at Yongshan Presidential Palace. After the talks, which lasted some 90 minutes and were divided into small talks and expanded talks, the leaders of the two countries will meet with journalists and issue a joint Korean-American declaration. The North Korean issue, economic security, and regional cooperation will be the focus of the conference, and the two countries expect the conference to contribute to the development of the Korean-American alliance as a “comprehensive strategic alliance”. Upon the conclusion of the joint press conference, Yoon Suk-yeol will host a feast at the National Central Museum for Biden, which will be attended by the 10 largest groups in the country. On Sunday, Biden will visit the Ushan airbase to meet with the Korean-American officers. Biden will be visiting Japan in the afternoon.
Prior to Biden's trip, United States officials and the media campaigned to claim that it would create a “security and economic alliance against China.” In particular, Biden will officially announce the launch of the so-called “IPEF” during the day of the visit in order to create an “economic circle” that excludes and curbs China. On 19th, the Councillor and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi, presided over a video meeting of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the BRICS countries, stating that we would reject the practice of individual countries of building “the walls of the small court” and of creating “parallel systems” to divide the world. In response to queries, the spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zhao Lijian, stated that China was following Biden’s visit closely and that any regional cooperation framework should promote mutual trust and cooperation among the countries of the region. “Bydon’s trip to Asia focused on China.” The US Congressional Hills said that the first trip to Asia since Biden took office was an opportunity for the US government to focus more on China’s challenges, with the Biden government’s main focus on the conflict in Russia-Ukraine in previous months. According to reports, China has been the biggest foreign-policy challenge since Biden’s entry into the White House. In a series of speeches, he has identified China as America’s top competitor, and has developed policies around “Indo-Pacific” to counter China’s influence. According to the Russian newspaper The News, the real purpose of Biden's trip to Asia was to show its allies in the region that the events in Ukraine had not affected the interest of the United States in Asia-Pacific affairs, particularly China. Biden will launch the United States “Indo-Pacific Economic Framework” during his visit to contain China’s economic influence. In many ways, Washington views this strategy as a response to China’s “one-way” initiative, while at the Tokyo summit, a plan to enhance security in the supply chain of key components, such as semiconductors, will also be announced. Prior to this, the United States Ambassador to Japan, Emanuel, in an interview with the Japanese television station, had made it clear that the day of Biden's visit was “a warning to China and that the United States presence in the Pacific region was strong”. Many countries have shown “doubts” about Biden's attempt to create a small circle of security and economy against China, and on 18 KLA stated that the Korean Government had decided to join the “Indo-Pacific Economic Framework” as an initial member State. However, the Korean side has subsequently repeatedly stated that the framework “does not exclude China.” On 19 September, the Korean Presidential Office once again “justified” that the “United States-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework” is a platform for cooperation in building the concept of a supply chain alliance and has no intention of excluding China. However, Korean National News 19 questions whether “South Korea joins the “Indian-Thai economic framework” that excludes China,” and whether this raises a conflict with China? Reports suggest that South Korea's accession to the anti-China economic framework could have negative effects on the economy, as did the “Sad events”. A representative of an electric car company in South Korea said: “It is still a question whether China can be excluded from a global supply chain where national interests intersect, and there is little real benefit to be gained from joining this economic framework. According to the Khmer Times of Cambodia, given the size and influence of China's economy in the Asia-Pacific region, attempts by the United States to artificially divide the trading system and cut off supply chains are not conducive to economic development in Asia and the Pacific. Moreover, attempts by the United States to bring Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Viet Nam into the framework, while excluding Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and others, would undoubtedly undermine ASEAN unity. According to the British Financial Times, Biden announced an allocation of $150 million to ASEAN at his summit with ASEAN leaders last week, but this list represents only a few days' investment in China's “one-way” initiative. The US is reported to be “cuffed to fight China.” The US is simply sending more ships and military aircraft to Asia and the Pacific, but it will not even try to compete with China’s economy in the world’s most dynamic regions. The Japanese Economic News is also concerned that the “Indo-Pacific Economic Framework” is simply an inability for the Biden government to return to the “Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (CPTPP)” – an alternative measure that has to be proposed. If the US government changes, it may be abandoned.