President Biden kicks off the final day of his Asia trip with a ‘Quad’ meeting, where the US, Japan, India and Australia can try to discuss new understandings on covid, cyber, maritime issues and Russia’s war on Ukraine .
The sit-down diplomacy comes a day after Biden angered China with blunt comments on Taiwan, when he said the United States would engage “militarily” if China invaded across the Taiwan Strait.
The comment sent a stark warning to China, which has been holding a series of military exercises near Taiwan in its own gesture, but also took issue with longstanding “strategic ambiguity” on the matter.
“That’s a commitment we made,” Biden said at a joint news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida on Monday. The two later went out for a fancy Monday night meal that included salmon, scallops, marlin, lobster and dried cucumber.
Power trio: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, US President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi smile during a photocall at the launch of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) in Tokyo, Japan on 23 March May 2022. Australia’s new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will join the Quad meetings on Tuesday
Tuesday sees the second in-person meeting of the Quad, a group the US sees as an increasingly viable place to address regional issues.
“It’s becoming a cornerstone and it’s certainly a fixture in the regional order,” a senior administration official told reporters traveling with the president on Tuesday.
“It’s significant because this is an extraordinary track record and one that really reflects the administration’s focus on the region and its vision of how we can get like-minded democracies to work together to address common challenges and problems,” the official said.
But the official did not provide a direct answer when asked if Biden would pressure 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, on May 23, 2022, in this photo released by the Japan Cabinet Public Relations Office through Kyōdo.
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 leaders of the United States, Japan and India, known as Quad
Japan’s Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken high-five before the Japan-US Foreign Ministers’ Meeting at Happo-en in Tokyo, Japan , on May 23, 2022.
President Joe Biden (left) participated in a news 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 arrives for dinner in Kochuan, Monday, May 23, 2022, in Tokyo. The meal came after Biden rattled China by saying the United States would engage militarily to defend Taiwan if China invaded.
One announcement will be a maritime deal that will use technology to track illegal fishing, ‘dark shipping’ and ‘encounter at sea’, a reference to ships turning off transponders that monitor their movements.
He will be joined by the new Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, who jumped on a plane a day after winning the election in order to get to the event.