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Biden to visit Papua New Guinea after Japan G7 meeting

US President Joe Biden says he will visit Papua New Guinea in May following the G7 meeting in Japan.

Biden US President Joe Biden has added a stop in PNG to his itinerary that includes Japan and Australia.
May 10, 2023
10 May 2023

US President Joe Biden will become the first US sitting president to visit Papua New Guinea this month with a trip following the G7 in Japan, marking the administration’s investment in the Pacific region to counter China.

White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden would meet Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister James Marape and other Pacific Island Forum leaders.

“The leaders will discuss ways to deepen co-operation on challenges critical to the region and to the United States such as combating climate change, protecting maritime resources and advancing resilient and inclusive economic growth,” she said.

Biden’s expected May 22 stopover in the capital Port Moresby will be the first visit by a sitting US president to the resource-rich but largely undeveloped country of 9.4 million people.

Papua New Guinea is being courted by China and by the United States and its allies, as Marape seeks to boost foreign investment. 

Chinese President Xi Jinping visited in 2018.

The US has stepped up efforts to counter China’s growing influence in the region after it struck a security pact with the Solomon Islands last year. 

China failed to reach a wider security and trade deal with 10 Pacific island countries.

China and Australia have been major aid and infrastructure donors.

Papua New Guinea is negotiating security pacts with the United States and Marape has been invited to visit Beijing this year.

The 18 countries and territories in the Pacific Islands Forum cover 30 million square km of ocean. 

The region’s leaders say climate change is their greatest security threat amid worsening cyclones and rising sea levels.

Biden will stop in Papua New Guinea on the way to Sydney, Australia, for a May 24 summit of the Quad, which also includes Japan and Australia.

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