President Biden told an audience in Hanoi that he has no desire to “contain” China. The President is visiting Vietnam and India to strengthen ties with China’s neighbors but repeatedly stated that he is not seeking conflict with the communist power. “We’re not trying to hurt China,” he said before adding that his intention is to “get the relationship right.”
Biden arrived in India on September 8 to attend the G20 summit and departed for Vietnam the following day. Officials say the purpose of the trip is to discuss climate change and build ties in the region, which political analysts suggest is an attempt to boost America’s standing there. “It’s about having a stable base, a stable base in the Indo-Pacific,” the President said.
A statement from the White House on September 9 described a new agreement between the US and Vietnam. The Comprehensive Strategic Partnership will support a “shared vision for broader bilateral cooperation, deeper institutional ties, and more extensive and innovative economic engagement.” In particular, the two countries will work to establish “safe and stable semiconductor supply chains,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, Ukraine has criticized a joint statement from G20 leaders that did not explicitly condemn the Russian invasion last February. The communiqué did not name Russia but merely stated that all countries should “refrain” from “action against the territorial integrity and sovereignty” of other nations. The Ukrainian foreign ministry described the wording as “nothing to be proud of,” while House Foreign Affairs Chair Michael McCaul (R-Texas) characterized it as a “slap in the face” to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken defended the statement, saying it clearly supported the right of nations to their sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Leaders noted that the war was having a global impact, and Russia’s actions had created instability and “food insecurity” all over the world. Blinken later met with Mr. Zelensky and assured him of America’s continued support.