Chinese Premier Li Keqiang commences his six-day visit to Cambodia today. Li will attend a meeting with ASEAN countries, as
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang commences his six-day visit to Cambodia today.
Li will attend a meeting with ASEAN countries, as well as a broader joint meeting with ASEAN, South Korea and Japan and—most crucially—the 17th East Asia summit. The East Asia summit was first hosted in 2005 and has grown into a major forum for leaders of Indo-Pacific nations. It is hosted annually by a member of ASEAN and includes all ten ASEAN countries, alongside China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, India, the U.S. and Russia.
While the East Asia summit typically focuses on fostering closer economic and political cooperation between its members, expect this year to center on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and increasing geopolitical tensions between the U.S. and China. Both Washington and Beijing will seek to strengthen their foothold in the region. Expect geopolitical rivalry to persist into the G20 summit in Bali on November 15-16 and the APEC summit in Bangkok on November 18-19, which will occur in quick succession of the East Asia summit and also within ASEAN. This string of summits may prove a litmus test for ASEAN cohesion, as disagreements on whether to condemn Russia’s war and how to respond to Chinese assertiveness have proven divisive among Southeast Asian nations.