The U.S. President Joe Biden stated that he had informed his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping that the U.S. would keep a robust military presence in the Indo-Pacific “not to start conflict, but to prevent one,” with Beijing making efforts to expand its influence in the strategically integral region. During Mr Joe Biden's first speech, addressing a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night, he stated that he too had told Mr Xi that America welcomes competition but is not looking for any conflict. But the U.S. President also made it clear that he will defend American interests across the board. He added that America would be opposed to “unfair” trade practices that undercut American workers and industries, like subsidies for state-owned undertakings and theft of American technologies as well as intellectual property. Mr Joe Biden also stated that he has said to Mr Xi what he has said to many other world leaders that America won’t back away from its commitment towards human rights and fundamental freedoms. The relationship between the U.S. and China is at an all-time low. Both countries are presently engaged in a bitter confrontation over issues related to trade, Beijing’s aggressive military moves in the disputed South China Sea, and human rights in Hong Kong and Xinjiang region. China is engaged in vehemently contested territorial disputes in both the South China Sea and the East China Sea. Beijing has developed and militarised numerous of the islands and reefs it controls in the region. The two areas are rich in minerals, oil, and other natural resources and are also considered vital to global trade. Mr Joe Biden had expressed Quad, which involves the U.S., India, Australia, and Japan, to be a new mechanism to strengthen cooperation and raise mutual ambition as the member states discuss accelerating climate change. The Quad member nations earlier this month joined France in a three-day naval exercise in the eastern region of the Indian Ocean in reflection of their growing maritime cooperation amidst China's increasing efforts to expand their influence in the region. The Indian Ocean, which is known to be the backyard of the Indian Navy, is crucial for India’s strategic interests. On the other hand, China has been making joint efforts to grow its presence in the region, including Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The U.S. has frequently stressed that China poses a serious threat to its national security.
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Tags : #Indo-pacific