- Columbus comeback earns MLS Cup final clash with LAFC
- Media Tour Witnesses Chinese Modernization in Hainan FTP
- Maghreb farmers embrace drones to fight climate change
- George lifts Clippers over Warriors, Giannis triple-double fuels Bucks
- 'Ink me up': Iran tattoo artists aim to leave mark
- Israel strikes Gaza as pressure mounts to protect civilians
- Columbus reach MLS Cup final with comeback win over Cincinnati
- German tourist stabbed to death in Paris 'terror' attack
- Haughey wins 100m free in US Open meet record
- Venezuela to hold referendum over Essequibo land dispute with Guyana
- George lifts Clippers to NBA victory over Warriors
- Attacker stabs German tourist to death in Paris
- Australia keep faith with Warner for first Pakistan Test
- SK E&S, strengthening 'Low-Carbon Hydrogen Partnership' at COP28... accelerating global carbon neutrality
- Nice lose unbeaten record as Lens inflict more pain on Lyon
- Taofifenua late try returns beaten Racing to Top 14 summit
- Rodman shines in new-look USA win over China
- Scheffler builds three-shot World Challenge lead, mixed day for Woods
- Newcastle inflict more misery on Man Utd, Arsenal extend Premier League lead
- Rodrygo helps Real Madrid keep pace with Girona in Liga title race
- Newcastle too good for Man Utd despite mounting injury crisis
- Milan beat Frosinone to close gap on leaders Juve
- US Commerce chief warns against China 'threat'
- Guinea-Bissau president calls deadly violence 'attempted coup'
- Masdar to Develop 150MWac Solar Plant in Angola to Power 90,000 Homes and Boost Just Energy Transition
- England ready to handle expectations at Euro 2024, says Southgate
- US defense chief says Israel must shield civilians to win in Gaza
- Peru boosts Machu Picchu access up to 5,600 visitors a day
- Guirassy scores again as Stuttgart beat Bremen
- Rodrygo strikes again as Madrid catch Girona with Granada win
- Italy and Spain to meet in Euro 2024 group stage, England handed kind draw
- Lens inflict more pain on managerless Lyon
- 'Not a group of death': Struggling Germany welcome Euro 2024 draw
- Italy and Spain drawn together in Euro 2024 group stage
- Guinea-Bissau army calls National Guard back to barracks after violence
- Girona 'making history', go top with superb Valencia comeback
- NWTN Celebrates Landmark Collaboration with Autostrad Car Rental Company for Eco-Friendly Transportation
- Heavy snow hits Beaver Creek World Cup ski race again
- Nervy Arsenal extend Premier League lead, Burnley score five
- Herve helps Toulon to Top 14 summit in Biggar absence
- Openda and Poulsen score as Leipzig beat Heidenheim to go fourth
- Burkina, Niger to quit G5 anti-jihadist force
- Germany beat France on penalties to win U-17 World Cup
- Girona top Liga with superb late Valencia comeback
- Grim cycle of death at a hospital in Gaza
- Erdogan weighs in on bank scam involving Turkish stars
- Embark on a Unique Journey with 'Hookah Haze': Human Drama Adventure Fueled by the Spirit of Shisha on Steam® and Nintendo Switch™ in 2024
- Xavi calls on Felix to let Atletico criticism inspire him
- Nations rally behind renewables at COP28 climate talks
- Israel and Hamas trade strikes as Palestinian toll mounts
Ukraine crisis overshadows Blinken bridgebuilding trip to Asia
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his Japanese and South Korean counterparts declared their unity on confronting security threats in the Asia-Pacific Saturday, even as Washington was intensely occupied by the possibility of war in Eastern Europe.
Blinken, South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong, and Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa met in Honolulu for a day of talks focused on North Korea's nuclear threat as well as the China challenge.
Washington organized the meeting as the third stop of a pan-Pacific round of diplomacy meant to reassert the on-off US "pivot" to Asia in politics and security.
Blinken first attended a meeting of the Quad in Melbourne, the alliance of Australia, Japan, India, and the United States aimed at blunting Beijing's expansive military policy in the Asia-Pacific.
The top US envoy then traveled to Fiji for a virtual meeting of representatives of 17 Pacific Island nations who are also experiencing China's economic, political and military ambitions.
US officials said the trip was to assure countries across the region that Washington is still deeply attentive to their issues.
During the weeklong trip, the White House released its strategy for what it has rebranded the "Indo Pacific region," an 18-page document that stresses the centrality of the region in US policy.
"That strategy reflects the fundamental truth that more than any other part of the world, what happens in this region is going to shape the lives of Americans and people around the world," Blinken said in Honolulu Saturday to close out the week.
- Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine -
At every stop, however, the threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine had nearly all of Washington's attention, and drew concerns from its counterparts.
Blinken spent much of his travel time liaising with allies and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, on the crisis.
And at each press conference, meant to showcase the US' dedication to Asia-Pacific affairs, attention instead fixed on Blinken's statement that Russia could attack Ukraine within days.
- Rise of the Quad -
Yet Blinken's message was well-received.
In Melbourne, four Quad countries sought to deepen their alliance, expanding it from the original Malabar naval exercises and Covid vaccine distribution to other areas including climate change, cyber security, infrastructure and disaster relief.
They also underscored in repeated statements that they were ready to work with ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, right in the center of the Chinese advance.
In Fiji, Blinken said the US was ready to spend more money to support the Pacific Islands, and announced the restoration of a US Embassy in the Solomon Islands, where China is now embroiled in politics and local security.
The US closed its embassy in the Solomons in 1993, and reopening it would serve as a statement that America will pay more attention to the often overlooked region.
The Pacific islands stop, said Jonathan Pryke of Australia's Lowy Institute, is "a reflection that the US just doesn't have a significant presence in the Pacific."
"The US is clearly anxious about China's growing presence in the region," he said, calling Blinken's visit "pretty significant."
The possibility of a Russian invasion of Ukraine also filtered into the tripartite talks in Honolulu.
The war would cause economic disruptions that could reach Asia. Japan has already been asked to allow some of its LNG supplies to be diverted to Europe in the case that Russian natural gas to Europe is cut off.
But Japan and South Korea want Washington to put more effort into bringing North Korea's Kim Jong Un to the table, after his seven recent test launches of ballistic missiles.
Blinken said Kim was in "a phase of provocation."
"I want to underscore we have no hostile intent for the DPRK. We remain open to dialogue without preconditions," he said.