Blinken to visit Indonesia and Malaysia next week

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov meets US Secretary of State Blinken in Stockholm
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken attends a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of the OSCE Council of Ministers in Stockholm, Sweden, December 2, 2021. Russian Foreign Ministry / Broadcast via REUTERS

December 6, 2021

By Stanley Widianto and Rozanna Latiff

JAKARTA/KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit Indonesia and Malaysia next week as the Biden administration strengthens its engagement in Southeast Asia, a bloc it sees as central to its efforts to counter influence. China’s growing.

I Gede Ngurah Swajaya, Indonesia’s general manager for American and European affairs, told reporters on Monday that Blinken will visit Jakarta on December 13-14, as the third senior official. and is the highest-ranking US official to visit the region in two months.

Two Southeast Asian diplomatic sources, who requested anonymity, said Blinken is also expected to visit Malaysia on December 14-15 during his first trip to the region.

During its Indonesia leg, Blinken will give a keynote on health, investment and infrastructure in the Indo-Pacific, Ngurah said. Blinken will also participate virtually in the Bali Democracy Forum on December 9.

It remains unclear whether Blinken will visit other countries in the region. A spokesman for the US Embassy in Jakarta declined to comment.

At the meeting with the Southeast foreign ministers Asia in Blinken said on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in September, that Washington would soon come up with a new strategy for the broader Indo-Pacific that would build “on the vision of our common vision of a free, open, connected, sustainable and secure region”.

Daniel Kritenbrink, America’s top diplomat for East Asia, said last week beijing-2021-March 12 in Thailand where Washington does not ask its allies to choose between themselves and China, instead promoting a shared vision of a rules-based order “where the great powers do not bully the weak”. Trade Minister Gina Raimondo also visited the region in mid-November to promote relations between economies transparency-semiconductor-manthersuring-supply-chains-2021-11 -18.

(Reporting by Stanley Widianto and Rozanna Latiff in Kuala Lumpur; Editing by John Geddie) Blinken to visit Indonesia and Malaysia next week


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