United States President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that he told his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping that the US and Australia are not trying to surround China after the AUKUS (Australia, the United Kingdom, the US) pact was made in 2021, APA reports citing Teletrader.
The US only wants to keep "sea lanes open" and is against unilateral changes to what is considered international airspace and waterspace, Biden insisted at a joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese at the White House, adding that AUKUS and Quad will contribute to "long term peace" in the Indo Pacific. He also noted that China is facing "internal and external difficulties," especially concerning the economy.
Biden also addressed the recent incident involving Chinese and Philippine vessels, underlining that US "defense commitment to the Philippines is ironclad." Any attack on Philippine assets "will invoke our mutual defense treaty," he pointed out.