US, Japan, South Korea slam “aggressive” China at historic Camp David summit

(Update: adds closing statement, changes headline, lede)

Camp David, US, Aug 18 (EFE).- China’s actions in the South China Sea and the Indo-Pacific undermine the stability of the region and pose a threat to the rules-based international order, the leaders of the United States, Japan and South Korea said Friday.

US President Joe Biden, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeo and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida were meeting for a trilateral summit at Camp David, the presidential retreat north of Washington DC.

At the end of the meeting, the leaders issued a joint statement condemning Beijing’s “dangerous and aggressive behavior in support of unlawful maritime claims” in the South China Sea, a maritime region with an estimated 11 billion barrels of oil and 190 trillion cubic feet of natural gas that has been the subject of territorial disputes and sovereignty claims between China, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam since the 1970s.

The leaders’ statement also mentioned the ongoing disputes over Taiwan and the Taiwan Strait, and China’s claim of sovereignty over the island.

“We reaffirm the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait as an indispensable element of the security and prosperity of the international community,” they said.

The statement also covered important economic topics for trade with the Asian region like increased trilateral cooperation on semiconductor and battery supply chain issues, as well as technology safety and standards, clean energy and energy security, biotechnology, critical minerals, pharmaceuticals, artificial intelligence (AI), quantum computing and scientific research.

The three leaders said the meeting marked a historical turning point given that it was the first time they were meeting outside of international forums like NATO and the G7.

According to Biden it marked the start of a “new era of cooperation” and renewed a shared “resolve to serve as a force of good across the Indo-Pacific and, quite frankly, around the world as well.”

Yoon urged the three countries to “tighten their solidarity” to “make sure that each of our freedoms is neither threatened or damaged.”

Kishida, meanwhile, added that “the international community is at a turning point in history to allow our strategic collaboration to bloom and blossom.”

Yoon and Kishida are the first foreign leaders whom Biden has hosted at Camp David, known for the historic agreements of the same name that led to the signing of a 1979 peace treaty between Israel and Egypt. EFE


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