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US State Secy Blinken rallies Southeast Asia to build strong support against China: Report – World News Network

Washington DC [US], July 16 (ANI): Amid China’s increasing influence in the South China Sea and off the coast of Taiwan, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with his Southeast Asian counterparts in Indonesia to warn them against Chinese coercion, The Washington Post reported.
On the sidelines of the ASEAN (Association of South East Nations), Blinken met his Southeast Asian counterparts and encouraged them to stand for openness, even though the Indonesian leaders and others had vowed that their region would not align itself in the heating competition between Washington and Beijing.

It is pertinent to mention that Blinken had visited the twelfth time to Indo-Pacific region, and his fourth to Indonesia.
China’s influence in the South China Sea triggered the US and it’s constant effort to increase its diplomatic relationship with the countries.
Blinken’s visit was a measure of the Biden administration’s broadening effort to woo Southeast Asian countries amid an aggressive Chinese diplomatic push, earlier neglected by Washington

It was also a foray into the world of intense regional challenges, including North Korea, which tested an intercontinental ballistic missile on Wednesday, and Myanmar, whose repressive military dictatorship continues to imprison former leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior officials, as per The Washington Post.

After his meetings, Blinken told reporters that he had advocated for “a region where countries are free to choose their path and their partners, where problems are dealt with openly.”
Meanwhile, China and Russia also sent their top diplomats, a measure of the 10-nation regional group’s importance as a fast-growing bloc that is facing rapid population growth, increasing climate vulnerability and tension over global food prices that have swung wildly over the war in Ukraine.

Foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, were cautious about Blinken’s entreaties, open to the United States but made no commitments to turning their back on Washington’s rivals. Still, many have been frustrated by China’s expansive claims over the South China Sea, and they have pushed back against its effort to do so.

“We are not choosing sides. We do not want to be proxies, we do not want to be vassal states, we do not want to be divided,” Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan told reporters ahead of the meetings on Friday.
“We are trying to avoid the bad old days of the Cold War, of proxy wars, when Southeast Asia was divided, or worse, an arena for proxy wars,” he added.
But some choices may be unavoidable, as China, the United States and others increasingly erect trade barriers against each other that affect other economic partners as well, according to The Washington Post.

“If the U.S. and China are de-risking, decoupling — however you want to call it, it’s happening — as international rules get more and more fragmented, these middle countries have to figure out how they navigate that space,” said Satu Limaye, vice president of the East-West Center, a think tank.
Blinken was capping a week that began in London with President Biden, then moved on to Vilnius, Lithuania, where NATO leaders bolstered their defences against Russia, and met for more than 90 minutes on Thursday with China’s top diplomat, Wang Yi.
One of the most immediate hot-button issues facing the region is the military government in Myanmar, which removed the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi two years ago and imprisoned her. Myanmar, a member of ASEAN, has been disinvited from gatherings as regional nations seek to restore the government, reported The Washington Post. (ANI)


Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from a syndicated feed of ANI; only the image & headline may have been reworked by News Services Division of World News Network Inc Ltd and Palghar News and Pune News and World News


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