Biden to visit Japan, Australia for meetings with allies

President Joe Biden speaks at the North America's Building Trades Union National Legislative Conference at the Washington Hilton in Washington, Tuesday, April 25, 2023. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) (Andrew Harnik, Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

President Joe Biden will visit Japan and Australia next month to huddle with allies on their continued response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine as well as ways to confront China's assertive economic and military moves in the Indo-Pacific region, the White House announced Tuesday.

Biden will attend a summit of the leaders of the Group of Seven advanced democracies in Hiroshima, Japan, on May 19-21, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said. Then he will make his first trip as president to Australia, which will include the third in-person meeting of the so-called “Quad” leadership of the U.S., Japan, Australia and India.

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“The President and G7 leaders will discuss a range of the most pressing global issues, including the G7’s unwavering support for Ukraine, addressing the dual food and climate crises, securing inclusive and resilient economic growth, and continuing to lead a clean energy transition at home and for our partners around the world,” she said.

At the Quad meeting on May 24 Biden will gather with Prime Minister Kishida Fumio of Japan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of Australia. The group was formed in 2007 to bolster economic and security relations between the four democracies as a check on China's rise. It was rebooted under the presidency of Donald Trump a decade later, and elevated to a regular leader-level gathering during Biden's tenure.

“The Quad leaders will discuss how they can deepen their cooperation on critical and emerging technologies, high-quality infrastructure, global health, climate change, maritime domain awareness, and other issues that matter to the people of the Indo-Pacific,” Jean-Pierre said.

The meeting with Modi comes amid growing concerns in the U.S. over democratic backsliding in India during his time in office, and efforts by the U.S. to press India to join international economic sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

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