Washington, 5 August 2021 (TDI): During the (the East Asia Summit) EAS Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, the Secretary of the United States of America, Antony J. Blinken communicated with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of EAS nations and the Secretary-General of ASEAN. Secretary Blinken reiterated US allegiance to EAS and ASEAN while noting the significance of ASEAN-centered agencies for the US vision of an open and free Indo-Pacific region. The officials exchanged views about aiding the actualization of the ASEAN Outlook on the region and approaching the critical regional and international issues, such as the fight against the pandemic and maintaining the international law order.
Blinken expressed the US resolve to be ahead of other nations in globally responding to the pandemic, through supplying 500 million+ effective vaccine doses to Gavi via COVAX. US has supplied 23 million+ vaccine doses and $158 million+ aid to ASEAN nations for fighting the pandemic. He stressed the urgency of the need of addressing the climate crisis and pursue green recovery. He also noted the rejection of China’s unlawful maritime claims in the South China Sea, by the US, in accordance with the July 12, 2016, Arbitral Tribunal Award. He further expressed the US aim to completely denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and to assist an open Mekong sub-region. Furthermore, he expressed the importance of international cooperation in countering cybercrime and worldwide ransomware attacks.
Secretary Blinken talked about the concerning situation of Burma and asked ASEAN to take action against the Burmese regime, in accordance with the ASEAN five-point consensus. He urged the states to act together to promote democracy in Burma. He also appreciated the appointment of Brunei Foreign Minister II Erywan as ASEAN’s Special Envoy to Burma.