At the opening of the East Asia Summit, the prime minister of Singapore, who holds the rotating chair of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), stated that it was in the common interest of the world to work together to resolve differences peacefully.
These comments are made at a time when tensions in the region between China and the United States remain high over Taiwan, Beijing’s growing regional ambitions, and while Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused disruptions to global supply chains, leading to rising food and energy prices well beyond Europe.
Hun Sen stated that he did not want to name any country and said that he hoped leaders would embrace an “emotion of togetherness” in upholding open, inclusive multilateralism and pragmatism in addressing the existential, strategic and other challenges we face.
It was attended by Joe Biden, the US President, and Li Keqiang the Chinese Prime Minister. This is just a day ahead of the highly anticipated meeting between Biden & Xi Jinping at Bali’s Group of 20 summit.
Sergey Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister, was also present at the meetings that also featured leaders from Australia, New Zealand and South Korea.
Biden, who promised the US that it would work with ASEAN on Saturday, told leaders of the strategically important coalition that “we are going to build the better future that all of us want” in the region, where rival China is expanding its influence.
Biden stated that he would work with others to create a region that is free and open, prosperous, resilient, secure, and stable.
Li Keqiang told the ASEAN, China and Japan meeting that protectionism and unilateralism are rising amid a “turbulent”, global security situation. He also said that South Korea, Japan, China and Japan were “committed to promoting peace and stability in the region and elsewhere, as well as improving the wellbeing of the people.”