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Leaders land in Indonesia for G20 summit; US seeks no conflict with China, says Biden

Published 11/13/2022, 04:10 AM
Updated 11/13/2022, 10:02 AM
© Reuters. U.S. President Joe Biden makes a statement about the U.S. midterm elections during his visit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia November 13, 2022. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

By Nandita Bose and Fransiska Nangoy

NUSA DUA, Indonesia (Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden said on Sunday his country will maintain open communication lines and seek no conflict with China, ahead of what are expected to be tense talks on a range of geopolitical issues at the G20 summit in Indonesia this week.

Biden and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping are on Monday set to meet face-to-face for the first time since Biden took office, as bilateral relations languish at their worst in decades. Jake Sullivan, a national security adviser to Biden, told reporters the meeting could last "a couple of hours".

Biden, who landed in Bali island after meeting Southeast Asian and East Asian leaders in Cambodia, said the United States would "compete vigorously" with Beijing while "ensuring competition does not veer into conflict".

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also arrived in Bali from Cambodia earlier on Sunday.

The war in Ukraine and its economic fallout is expected to dominate discussions in Bali and at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Bangkok at the end of the week, alongside climate commitments, food insecurity and tensions over the Taiwan Strait, the South China Sea and North Korea.

Earlier, Lavrov accused the West of militarising Southeast Asia to contain Chinese and Russian interests in a geostrategic battleground.

"The United States and its NATO allies are trying to master this space," Lavrov told reporters.

Lavrov is representing President Vladimir Putin at the summits and is expected to hear stinging rebukes from within the G20 over the invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a special military operation.

Ukraine is not a G20 member but has been invited by host Indonesia as an observer. Its president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, will address the meeting virtually.

Russia's foreign ministry on Sunday said the G20 was not the forum to handle security issues and should instead focus on pressing global economic challenges.

'AGGRESSIVE' PROVOCATIONS

Biden held a trilateral meeting with leaders of allies Japan and South Korea and said the three countries were "more aligned than ever" on North Korea.

South Korea President Yoon Suk-yeol said the North's recent provocations showed its regime's "nature against humanitarianism", adding it had become more hostile and aggressive based on confidence in its nuclear and missile capabilities.

Japan counterpart Fumio Kishida said Pyongyang's actions, which included a recent firing of a ballistic missile over Japan, were unprecedented.

"This trilateral summit is timely given we are expecting further provocation," Kishida said.

Kishida also took a swipe at China for what he called violations of Japan's sovereignty in the East China Sea and said Beijing was responsible also for heightening regional tension in the South China Sea, a conduit for at least $3 trillion in annual trade.

At a separate news conference, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said his brief discussions the previous day with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang were constructive and positive, amid anticipation of a formal summit with Xi.

Like ally the United States, Australia's ties with China have also deteriorated in recent years.

"I have said repeatedly about the relationship with China that we should cooperate where we can," Albanese said. "And that dialogue is always a good thing."

'MATURE' TALKS

Eighteen countries accounting for half the global economy attended Sunday's East Asia Summit, which was held behind closed doors, attended by the ASEAN nations, Japan, South Korea, China, India, the United States, Russia, Australia and New Zealand.

The summit's chair, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, said the plenary meeting handled some heated discussion, but the atmosphere was not tense.

© Reuters. U.S. President Joe Biden walks as Balinese dancers perform during his arrival for the G20 Summit at Ngurah Rai International airport in Bali, Indonesia, 13 November 2022. Made Nagi/Pool via REUTERS

"Leaders talked in a mature way, no one left," he told a news conference at the end of the three-day summit led by the Association of Southeast Asian nations (ASEAN).

Leaders also called on Myanmar's military rulers to follow a peace plan they agreed to with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), while condemning North Korea's missile launches and Russia's "brutal and unjust" invasion of Ukraine.

Latest comments

******** US seeks conflict with China. Lol
Watch Joe's next move will be to quickly pass his income tax increases through the lame duck congress.
Instant severe recession if they do. Manchin likely won't go for it after Biden lied to him about drilling permit issuing being relaxed.
land for G20 or land for awesome massage ?
Yeah American never admit Taiwan as a free nation and admit One China. That's mean America admit Taiwan as part of China but they always push Taiwan to fight China. It's not right if you teach a child to fight their parents. Tell me if I'm wrong.
Germany and Japan can not Re Arm fast enough.
The Russian foriegn ministry doesn't think its unprovoked illegal violent invasion of Ukraine is a "pressing economic issue"?
With Russia's GDP shrinking -5% in September, you'd think he'd have a different view
Major damage already done with China and now trying to look like the better country by holding out a olive branch 🤣🤣 classic US play. Spit on your enemy's face and then ticket his b@11s
Nice name lmao 🤣 😂😆
I remember when my ****got a ticket for being over the weight limit.
B@11s
Let’s start nuclear war
is that you vladimir?
Lets give puketin everything he wants as appeasement because we are so afraid of him having nuclear weapons. Thats a brilliant geo political strategy bravo 👏 loser
shoot bidens plane down.
Isnt it time for you to take your medicine?
Are you a scarred traitor trump cult member? It will be ok 👍
@Ald. No, it's time for me to do your sis ter. As soon as she finishes shaving her mustache.
Biden is doing a good job in a difficult time. midterm results show that more and more people realise that.
Yes right biden is the best mann with a big heart
Impressive energy level for his age. He is definitely not sitting around the white house eating bic macs and revenge tweeting about anybody who is "disloyal" to him lmao
Biden talking about competing when the entire nation is obsessed with fringe equities & wild social justice issues. Just give up dude. There is no competing with nations obsessed with competence. Go fight lame social issues.
Oh, you poor brainwashed tool.
I think the traitor trump t a. r. d. s are the ones with the social justice obsession issues
the bear comes this way
.back to globalization. giving away American jobs and security
It sounds like you are ignorant of all the support for domestic manufacturing in the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act.
The dollar is the world's reserve currency genius. You don't even know how good you have it
just kil biden and xi..world would be better.
surely you meant putin right? easy to get confused...
Its not bidens first meeting with XI since taking office
We are waiting for war
Between your gang and the tribe across the swamp?
lavrov, the liar should explain putins absence! is he sick? does he really have cancer?
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