President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. today attended the annual East Asia Summit (EAS) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. President Biden reaffirmed the enduring U.S. commitment to the Indo-Pacific, with ASEAN at its center. The President reviewed efforts to deliver on his vision for an Indo-Pacific region that is free and open, connected, prosperous, resilient, and secure. President Biden underscored his commitment to working with allies and partners to strengthen health systems, promote food security, address climate change, and accelerate the clean energy transition. He reviewed progress in developing an Indo-Pacific Economic Framework that provides concrete benefits to all of its fourteen members and drives enduring and broad-based economic growth throughout the Indo-Pacific. He also highlighted progress in implementing the Indo-Pacific Partnership for Maritime Domain Awareness, through which the United States, Australia, Japan, and India are helping ASEAN nations and other Indo-Pacific partners to undertake marine conservation, counter illegal fishing, and respond to humanitarian disasters.
President Biden also addressed pressing regional and global challenges. He underscored that freedom of navigation and overflight must be respected in the East China Sea and South China Sea, and that all disputes must be resolved peacefully and in accordance with international law. He reaffirmed U.S. support for the 2016 UN arbitral tribunal ruling and noted this ruling is final and legally binding. President Biden also raised concerns regarding the threats posed by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and he condemned Russia’s brutal and unjust war against Ukraine in the strongest terms. He raised concern regarding the deteriorating crisis in Burma, and highlighted the importance of taking further action to increase pressure on the Burmese military regime to implement the Five Point Consensus, release political prisoners, and provide for a return to the path of democracy.
President Biden also commented on U.S.-PRC relations, underscoring that the United States will compete vigorously with the PRC and speak out regarding the PRC’s human rights abuses, while keeping lines of communication open and ensuring competition does not veer into conflict. He reaffirmed the importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.