Biden starts his last day in Asia with a third palace trip where he will meet the Quad group that includes Australia’s new PM – after rankling China with his latest Taiwan comments
- The Quad, which includes the U.S., Japan, India, and Australia, will meet Tuesday
- New Australian PM Anthony Albanese got on a plane a day after winning election
- New maritime agreement will take on ‘dark shipping’
- Biden said Monday the US would get involved ‘militarily’ if China invaded Taiwan
President Biden starts the last day of his trip to Asia with a meeting of ‘the Quad’ – where the U.S., Japan, India, and Australia can try to hash out new understandings on covid, cyber, maritime issues and Russia’s war on Ukraine.
The sit-down diplomacy comes a day after Biden irritated China with blunt comments on Taiwan, when he said the U.S. would get involved ‘militarily’ if China invaded across the Taiwan Strait.
The comment sent a stark warning to China, who has been conducting a series of military exercises near Taiwan in its own gesture, but also ran against longstanding ‘strategic ambiguity’ on the matter.
‘That’s a commitment we made,’ Biden said at a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Monday. The two later went out for an elegant meal Monday night that included salmon, scallops, needlefish, lobster, and dried cucumber.
Power trio: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, US President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi smile during a photo session at the launch of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) in Tokyo, Japan, 23 May 2022. Australia’s new prime minister Anthony Albanese will join meetings of the Quad on Tuesday
Tuesday will see the second in-person meeting of the Quad, a group the U.S. sees as an increasingly viable venue to tackle regional problems.
‘It’s developing into a cornerstone and it certainly is a fixture in the regional order,’ a senior administration official told reporters traveling with the president Tuesday.
‘It’s significant because this is an extraordinary trajectory and one that really reflects the administration’s focus on the region and its vision of how we can bring like-minded democracies to work together to deal with common challenges and issues,’ the official said.
But the official wouldn’t provide a direct answer when pushed on whether Biden would press Modi to move away from Russia on military and energy imports.
President Joe Biden experiences a traditional tea ceremony with Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida during a private dinner in Tokyo, Japan May 23, 2022, in this photo released by Japan’s Cabinet Public Relations Office via Kyodo
Don’t start without me! Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese arrives at Haneda airport in Tokyo on May 23, 2022, for a summit with the US, Japanese and Indian leaders, known as the Quad
Japan’s Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken bump elbows before the Japan-US Foreign Ministers Meeting at Happo-en in Tokyo, Japan May 23, 2022
President Joe Biden (left) participated in a press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (right) in Tokyo on Monday
Dinner time! President Joe Biden, center is greeted by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, right, and his wife Yuko as he arrived for dinner at Kochuan, Monday, May 23, 2022, in Tokyo. The meal came after Biden rattled China by saying the U.S. would get involved military to defend Taiwan if China invaded
One announcement will be a maritime agreement that will use technology to track illegal fishing, ‘dark shipping’ and ‘rendezvous at sea’ – a reference to ships that turn off transponders that monitor their movements.
Joining will be new Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese got on a plane a day after winning election so that he could make it to the event.