The U.S announced on Monday the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework with Asian partners including Australia, Japan and the Republic of Korea, a plan designed to help expand the U.S.′ “economic leadership” in the region.
The group’s goal is to set international rules on the digital economy, supply chains, decarbonization and regulations applying to workers. The move is seen by analysts as creating another counterbalance to China within Asia.
“We’re here today for one simple purpose: the future of the 21st Century economy is going to be largely written in the Indo-Pacific. Our region,” Biden said during the presentation of the plan.
Biden is in Tokyo this week meeting regional leaders. Biden said this framework is designed to help lower costs by making supply chains more resilient in the longer term.
The IPEF is not a free trade agreement, since Biden faces political pressure in the U.S to avoid new trade deals. It also is not a security pact.
Chinese state-controlled media outlet Global Times on Saturday said “the main goal of Biden’s trip to South Korea and Japan is trying to form a new political posturing against China, by establishing an alliance around Washington in the Asia-Pacific region.”
Hours after the announcement, Biden said the U.S. would intervene militarily if China invaded Taiwan, sparking uncertainty over whether the U.S. was moving away from its longstanding policy of strategic ambiguity on Taiwan.