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Hanabusa Urges President to Attend Asia Summits

October 16, 2018, 4:30 PM HST
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US Rep. Colleen Hanabusa. Courtesy photo.

Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa and nine of her colleagues sent a letter to the White House urging the president to attend Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Papua New Guinea or the annual U.S.-ASEAN and East Asia Summits in Singapore this November.

The White House previously indicated the president would skip the meetings with leaders from the region.

Members serving on the House of Representatives Seapower Subcommittee, the Asia and the Pacific Subcommittee, the Friends of Australia Caucus, the U.S.-Japan Caucus, the Singapore Caucus and the ASEAN Caucus signed onto the letter.

Chinese President Xi Jingping and Russian Vladimir Putin have confirmed their attendance next month. Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to lead the U.S. delegation.

“Singapore currently holds the chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and shares an expansive and enduring relationship with the United States,” the lawmakers wrote. “The ten members of ASEAN, with a GDP of $2.4 trillion and 630 million citizens, comprise the fifth largest economy in the world, and its middle class is expected to double by 2030. ASEAN is at a truly historical juncture, and your presence would emphasize the importance of U.S. engagement with this bloc at the center of the Indo-Pacific. Papua New Guinea is the most populous Pacific Island state, and this will be the first APEC forum attended by the leaders of Chile, Peru, Malaysia and Australia. The summit is an opportunity for leaders to push for their nation’s priorities and to boost international trust and cooperation. Your presence would enable the United States to have a full seat at the table as the group addresses current and emerging economic issues and works towards new understandings.”

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