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US President Joe Biden to meet Japanese PM for first White House meeting

US President Joe Biden is expected to meet Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga at the White House on Friday, as the Biden administration seeks to strengthen its alliances in the Asia-Pacific to counter Chinese influence in the region. It is Biden's first in-person meeting with a foreign leader since he became president in January.

"Our approach to China and our shared coordination and cooperation on that front will be part of the discussion," White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said about the meeting. The two leaders are expected to discuss the human rights situations in Hong Kong and Xinjiang, along with recent Chinese aggression towards Taiwan and Beijing's global 5G aspirations.

As Suga left for the meeting with Biden, he told reporters he wishes to build "a relationship of trust" with the new US president.

The Biden administration is seeking to pivot US foreign policy towards Asia and away from the Middle East. Former President Barack Obama attempted a similar strategy during his eight-year tenure, but his administration became mired in its responses to the 2011 Arab Spring and the rise of the "Islamic State' (IS)

wd/aw (AP, Reuters)

Updated : 2021-05-08 17:51 GMT+08:00