PHNOM PENH — US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his Indian counterpart recently held bilateral talks in Cambodia.
The meeting took place during this year’s Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in the capital.
“We have a shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific that we work towards in so many different ways every day,” Blinken said in a statement. He said the United States and India are supporters of ASEAN centrality, pointing to close cooperation between the two countries.
Furthermore, Blinken also highlighted the challenges plaguing the development of the ASEAN region and beyond.
“We have immediate challenges that concern us both; to include the situation in Sri Lanka, Burma and a number of other hotspots,” he added.
Although Blinken did not name the “hot spots,” discussion at the ASEAN tables included tensions between China and Taiwan, after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke out. returned to Taiwan earlier this month.
Other topics mentioned by Blinken include Sri Lanka after the island nation recently suffered a heightened economic crisis, growing public anger against the government and the resignation of top leaders amid political instability. He also commented on the future of Burma after a coup staged by Burma’s military, the Tatmadaw, in 2021, and the terrorist regime established in the country thereafter.
Blinken’s concerns were echoed by Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, who said there was a lot to discuss.
“It’s actually been a really busy year, we’ve had a really good quad, and since then a number of developments have taken place all over the world,” he said.
The ASEAN summit, which ran from July 30 to August 6, focused on ASEAN centrality and unity for regional partners’ cooperation.