S Jaishankar meets US Secretary of State Antony Blinken after tension between China and US

India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held two important meetings on Thursday amid China’s aggressive attitude towards Taiwan. External Affairs ministers and World leaders have gathered in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, to attend the meeting of ASEAN countries.

Jaishankar, who arrived in Cambodia to participate in the ASEAN (The Association of Southeast Asian Nations) summit, Jaishankar first met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in which all regional and multilateral global issues were discussed. Later, Jaishankar met with representatives of ASEAN countries to discuss challenges in the Indo-Pacific region.

In his opening remarks at the meeting, Blinken said the US and India are strong proponents of the ASEAN centrality in the Indo-pacific region.

“We are both strong proponents of ASEAN centrality. We have a shared vision together for a free and open Indo-Pacific that we work on in so many different ways every single day,” he said.

“And of course, we have some immediate challenges that we are both concerned with, including the situation in Sri Lanka, Burma, and a number of other hotspots,” he added.

“So, I very much look forward to once again being able to go through a number of these issues with my friend, and then we’ll both head over to our meetings,” Blinken added.

US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said that Jaishankar and Blinken exchanged views on global and regional issues, including Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and the implications it has had on food insecurity around the world.

There has been no official confirmation from India whether the Taiwan issue was discussed at the summit or not but this issue was a hot topic during the ASEAN meeting.

The situation has become very serious between China and US after the visit of US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan. Before the meeting, Members of ASEAN countries issued a joint statement, urging China and the US to exercise restraint and peace.

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