Blinken faces global challenges in round-the-world trip

Dec 8, 2021, 11:02 AM | Updated: 11:36 am
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken attends a press conference during an Organization for Security...

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken attends a press conference during an Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) meeting, in Stockholm, Sweden, Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021. (Jonathan Nackstrand/Pool Photo via AP)

(Jonathan Nackstrand/Pool Photo via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Antony Blinken will confront a number of daunting global challenges as he embarks this week on an around-the-world diplomatic tour that will test the Biden administration’s resolve on various fronts .

From Russia and Ukraine to China and Myanmar, Blinken will have a full agenda as he travels first to Britain and then on to Southeast Asia for what will be his longest overseas trip yet as America’s top diplomat.

The State Department announced Wednesday that Blinken will attend a meeting of the Group of Seven foreign ministers in England this weekend before flying on to Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.

At each stop, Blinken will be seeking support for U.S. efforts to tamp down tensions between Russia and Ukraine, push back on China’s increasing assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific and secure backing for pressure on Myanmar’s military rulers.

The trip follows President Joe Biden’s warnings to Russia’s Vladimir Putin on Tuesday about any military moves against Ukraine, the announcement a day earlier that the U.S. would not send any official representatives to the upcoming Winter Olympics in China to protest human rights abuses in China’s western Xinjiang region, and a stern U.S. condemnation of the conviction of Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Blinken leaves late Thursday for Liverpool, where the British government is hosting a Group of Seven foreign ministers meeting that is focused on global issues such as climate change and the coronavirus pandemic as well as regional issues like Russia and Ukraine and China’s rise, particularly in Asia. His counterparts from some non-G-7 nations, such as Australia, India, South Korea and the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, will also participate.

Blinken “will discuss a range of issues, including geopolitical and security matters, the buildup of Russian forces on Ukraine’s border, development infrastructure through the Build Back Better World initiative, COVID-19 vaccines and global health security, and growth in the Indo-Pacific region,” the State Department said.

From Liverpool, Blinken will travel to the capitals of ASEAN’s three largest nations, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok, before returning to Washington by way of Hawaii late next week.

In Jakarta, which hosts ASEAN’s headquarters, the State Department said Blinken plans to deliver a major speech on the significance of the Indo-Pacific to U.S. foreign policy and highlight the importance of ensuring freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, on which many of China’s neighbors have accused Beijing of encroaching.

In Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok, Blinken plans to deliver similar messages along with expressing deep U.S. concerns about developments in Myanmar, where a military junta took power shortly after the Biden administration took office.

On Monday, a court in Myanmar convicted Suu Kyi, who was ousted in a de facto coup in February, on two charges in proceedings widely criticized as a further effort by the country’s military rulers to roll back the democratic gains of recent years.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Judge J. Michelle Childs, who was nominated by President Barack Obama to the U.S. District C...
Associated Press

At least 3 judges eyed as Biden mulls Supreme Court pick

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is eyeing at least three judges for an expected vacancy on the Supreme Court as he prepares to quickly deliver on his campaign pledge to nominate the first Black woman to the nation’s highest court, according to aides and allies. With Justice Stephen Breyer planning to retire, early discussions […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Another Navy officer pleads guilty in wide-spanning scandal

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A U.S. Navy commander admitted in federal court to sending a Malaysian defense contractor classified ship schedules for the Navy’s 7th Fleet in exchange for extravagant meals, luxury travel, cash and the services of prostitutes. Commander Stephen Shedd is the third member of the 7th Fleet to plead guilty to bribery […]
19 hours ago
FILE - Cristina Licup receives her COVID-19 booster shot where she works at the Hebrew Home at Rive...
Associated Press

Vaccine mandate to kick in for first wave of health workers

Health care workers in about half the states face a Thursday deadline to get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine under a Biden administration mandate that will be rolled out across the rest of the country in the coming weeks. While the requirement is welcomed by some, others fear it will worsen already serious […]
19 hours ago
Workers walk over London Bridge towards the City of London financial district during the morning co...
Associated Press

England lifts COVID restrictions as omicron threat recedes

LONDON (AP) — Most coronavirus restrictions including mandatory face masks were lifted in England on Thursday, after Britain’s government said its vaccine booster rollout successfully reduced serious illness and COVID-19 hospitalizations. From Thursday, face coverings are no longer required by law anywhere in England, and a legal requirement for COVID passes for entry into nightclubs […]
19 hours ago
FILE - Stewart Rhodes, founder of the citizen militia group known as the Oath Keepers speaks during...
Associated Press

Magistrate orders Oath Keepers leader jailed until trial

PLANO, Texas (AP) — The founder and leader of the far-right Oath Keepers militia group must remain behind bars until he goes on trial on sedition charges arising from last year’s assault on the U.S. Capitol, a federal magistrate ruled Wednesday. Stewart Rhodes had been jailed sincehis Jan. 13 arrest on charges that he plotted […]
19 hours ago
This image released by Sony Pictures Television shows contestant Amy Schneider on the set of "Jeopa...
Associated Press

‘Jeopardy!’ champ Amy Schneider opens a new chapter for show

LOS ANGELES (AP) — One word made all the difference Wednesday on “Jeopardy!” Champion Amy Schneider’s dazzling streak on the quiz show is over, snapped by a Chicago librarian after 40 consecutive wins and nearly $1.4 million in prize money. Schneider’s success put her in the ranks of Ken Jennings, who’s serving as guest host, […]
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

HVAC upkeep in Arizona saves money, keeps families prepared in the long run

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.
GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 27: Wide receivers John Brown #12 and Larry Fitzgerald #11 of the Arizona C...
Arizona Department of Gaming

The most memorable games in Arizona sports history every fan needs to know

Sports teams in Arizona have seen their fair share of instant classic games, but there's a few that every fan needs to know.
...
DISC DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

What you need to know about spine health

With 540 million people suffering from lower back pain, it remains the leading cause of long-term disability. That’s why World Spine Day on Oct. 16 will raise awareness about spinal health with its theme, BACK2BACK. “BACK2BACK will focus on highlighting ways in which people can help their spines by staying mobile, avoiding physical inactivity, not overloading […]
Blinken faces global challenges in round-the-world trip