Biden meets Indo-Pacific leaders at G7 summit amid stalemate over US debt limit

HIROSHIMA, Japan — President Joe Biden tried to rally regional cooperation against China at the Group of Seven summit on Saturday, amid a stalemate in Washington over how to ensure the United States avoids bankruptcy.

Hoping to avoid an outcome that shook the global economy and blessed Beijing, Biden began his third day in Japan at the annual meeting of the world’s most powerful democracies by briefing staff on the country’s latest events and beginnings. showdown on how to raise the federal debt limit.

The president also pushed for meetings Saturday to challenge China’s Indo-Pacific buildup, including the so-called Quad partnership of the United States, Australia, Japan and India.

Members of the Quad were originally scheduled to meet in Sydney next week, but rescheduled their meeting on the sidelines of the G-7 to allow Biden to return to Washington as early as Sunday in hopes of securing a deal to raise the debt ceiling before then. the USA is running out of cash to pay its bills.

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The truncated trip underscored a fundamental tension that has defined Biden’s presidency: As he tries to signal to the world that the United States is regaining global leadership, domestic dramas keep getting in the way at key moments.

The president largely stayed out of the public eye at the summit, forgoing major public statements and leaving Friday’s executive dinner early. Instead, he passed the time in front of a video monitor in a room next to his hotel suite, where aides in Washington kept him updated on the debt limit negotiations.

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan acknowledged that world leaders have been pressing Biden over the debt ceiling in Washington. But press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that while there was keen interest in how the president would resolve the domestic showdown with geopolitical implications, there was no panic — at least for now.

“This is not a hair-raising situation,” he said.

Also on the sidelines of the summit, Biden scheduled a bilateral meeting with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese instead of visiting his country this week instead of his scheduled visit to the Quad Summit. U.S. officials said the trip would be rescheduled, and Biden invited the Albanians to Washington for a state visit as consolation for the change.

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The president also sent Foreign Minister Antony Blinken to fill his place at a summit of Pacific Island nations in Papua New Guinea on Monday. This presidential station was also canceled so that Biden could get back to Washington more quickly.

It would have been US President Biden’s first visit to the country. Pacific island nations are being courted aggressively by the United States and China as the two superpowers compete for influence in parts of the world where shipping lanes are vital.

In Hiroshima, Biden and other world leaders prepared to agree on a common framework to improve their own economic resilience — a recognition that high levels of trade with China pose more risks than opportunities for mature economies.

Sullivan said the G7 leaders recognize that “we seek to work with China on issues of mutual interest. And also that we will work to address our significant concerns with China in a number of areas.” He repeated a phrase often used by G7 leaders that the group is seeking “de-risking, not disengagement from China.”

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