Biden to attend G20 summit in India, Harris to represent US at ASEAN and East Asia summits

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U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during a community event at the Lahaina Civic Center, in the fire-ravaged town of Lahaina on the island of Maui in Hawaii, U.S., August 21, 2023. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

US President Joe Biden will travel to India next month to participate in the G20 summit of the world’s leading economies, while Vice President Kamala Harris will head to Indonesia to attend the ASEAN and East Asia summits of regional leaders, the White House announced on Tuesday.

Biden will visit New Delhi from September 7 to 10, where he will meet with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other G20 leaders to discuss global issues such as climate change, economic recovery, health security and international cooperation. The White House said that Biden will also reaffirm the US commitment to the G20 as the premier forum for economic cooperation, and announce that the US will host the G20 summit in 2026.

Harris will visit Jakarta from September 4 to 7, where she will represent the US at the ASEAN-US summit and the East Asia summit, two important platforms for dialogue and cooperation among Southeast Asian countries and their partners. The White House said that Harris will underscore the US strategic partnership with ASEAN, and advance the Biden administration’s vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan defended Biden’s decision to skip the ASEAN and East Asia summits, saying that it does not reflect a lack of US commitment to the region. He cited Biden’s previous engagements with Indo-Pacific leaders, such as hosting the Quad summit with India, Japan and Australia in March, attending the G7 summit in Japan in May, and holding a trilateral summit with South Korea and Japan last week.

He also highlighted Harris’s previous visits to Singapore and Vietnam in August, where she announced new initiatives and agreements to enhance US cooperation with Southeast Asian countries on security, trade, health, climate and human rights. He said that Harris’s third trip to the region will demonstrate a substantial investment in ASEAN as an institution and in its centrality in regional affairs.

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