Indonesia has warned leaders including US Vice President, Kamala Harris, Chinese Premier, Li Qiang and Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov against sharpening rivalries as they attend an East Asia summit in Jakarta on Thursday, September 7, 2023.
The meeting brought Washington and Beijing into contact, a day after Li warned that major powers must manage differences to avoid a new Cold War, and ahead of the G20 summit in New Delhi this week that Chinese President, Xi Jinping will miss.
Daniel Kritenbrink, US Assistant Secretary for East Asia and Pacific Affairs, stated that Harris spoke about Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, maritime challenges in the South and East China Seas and the growing threat of North Korean missile programmes.
A Southeast Asian diplomat, who declined revealing his identity, informed reporters that a draft paragraph in the leaders’ statement referring to the South China Sea was rejected.
Li travelled on a Chinese-funded high-speed train project between the capital Jakarta and the Javan city of Bandung with a senior Indonesian minister on Wednesday.
The ASEAN summit this week was dominated by the Myanmar crisis, where leaders called on the country’s junta rulers to stop attacks on civilians.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, said before he met ASEAN leaders on Thursday, September 7, 2023, hopes of a return to democracy in Myanmar were being squashed.