(Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden will visit India from Sept. 7-10 for a summit of the Group of 20 nations while Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to Jakarta Sept. 4-7 to attend summits of Southeast Asian leaders, the White House said on Tuesday.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan announced the trips as the BRICS group of major emerging economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – held a summit in Johannesburg.
That bloc was founded in 2009 to provide a platform for its members to challenge a world order dominated by the United States and its Western allies, a notion resisted by Sullivan as he announced the trips.
“The president will also reaffirm the U.S. commitment to the G20 as the premier forum of economic cooperation globally, including by committing to the U.S. hosting the G20 in 2026,” he told reporters on a conference call.
Reuters reported exclusively on Aug. 9 that Biden was unlikely to attend summits of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Jakarta, citing several diplomats saying it would be a significant disappointment if Biden did not go.
Asked about criticism that Biden’s absence would raise questions about U.S. commitment to a region facing China’s expanding influence, Sullivan argued that U.S. engagement with the Asia-Pacific has been pronounced since 2021.
“I would put our record of achievement and engagement in the Indo Pacific up against any American president (and) any other country in the world,” he said, citing a string of meetings Biden has hosted or attended, including last weekend’s trilateral summit with South Korea and Japan at Camp David.
(Reporting by Susan Heavey and Arshad Mohammed, writing by David Ljunggren and Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Bill Berkrot)