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Monday, January 18, 2021

Biden seeks to reassure U.S. allies in Asia

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Biden seeks to reassure U.S. allies in Asia
Biden seeks to reassure U.S. allies in Asia

In their first calls with President-elect Joe Biden since the U.S. election, the leaders of Japan, South Korea and Australia reaffirmed their commitment to tackling climate change and regional security.

Gloria Tso reports.

Key U.S. allies in Asia made their first phone calls to President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday (November 12), reaffirming U.S. military commitments in the region, and pledging to work together on the global health crisis and climate change.

It meant the leaders of South Korea, Japan and Australia joined others in recognizing Biden's victory over President Donald Trump, who has refused to concede.

Biden's projected win comes as China increasingly asserts its military and economic dominance in the region.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has stayed silent on Biden's election so far.

On South Korean President Moon Jae-in's Biden call, Moon's spokesperson said Biden had reaffirmed the American commitment to defend South Korea.

"President Moon asked President-elect Biden to closely communicate on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the establishment of lasting peace.

Biden said that South Korea is the linchpin of security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region." South Korean officials are also hopeful that Biden will quickly resolve a drawn-out, multi-billion dollar dispute with Washington over the cost of thousands of U.S. troops on the peninsula.

Both Moon and Japanese leader Yoshihide Suga have agreed to arrange summits with Biden after his inauguration in January, while Australia's Scott Morrison invited the President-elect to celebrate the 70th anniversary of their security treaty sometime next year.

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