August 21, 2023 09:33
The leaders of the U.S., Japan and South Korea presented a united front on Friday when they met at the U.S. presidential retreat of Camp David in Maryland.
"Ours is a partnership built not just for our people but for the entire Indo-Pacific," they said in a joint statement.
Cooperation will go beyond the security to encompass supply chains, economy and technology in response to the threats posed by China, Russia and North Korea.
They singled out China in particular. "We share concerns about actions inconsistent with the rules-based international order, which undermine regional peace and prosperity," they said, and "strongly oppose any unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the waters of the Indo-Pacific."
They also reaffirmed the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and urged a peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues. Just three hours after the trilateral summit ended, China conducted military drills there in a show of defiance.
U.S. President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol spent plenty of time together strolling around Camp David, but their official summit lasted just 65 minutes before they had lunch at Aspen Lodge, the presidential residence there.
Accompanied only by their closest aides, the leaders took off their ties and jackets when they met. Yoon and Kishida also held a separate summit for 20 minutes, their seventh meeting since Yoon took office last year.
The alliance encompasses an economic and security bloc of 500 million people and accounts for 32 percent of the global economy.
Yoon said on his way back from the trilateral summit, "A new chapter has opened for trilateral cooperation. I hope that the next summit can take place in South Korea."
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