WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Vice President Joe Biden will begin a trip to the Pacific region on Wednesday that will include meetings with Japanese and Korean officials in Hawaii and visits to Australia and New Zealand, officials said on Tuesday.
Biden’s visit with partners in the Asia-Pacific begins just a day after an arbitration court in The Hague ruled that China had no historic title over the waters of the South China Sea and had breached the Philippines’ sovereign rights with its actions.
Beijing has dismissed the case as a farce and accused Washington of fueling tensions in the region. The United States has urged Beijing and Manila, which brought the case to the court, not to use the ruling as a reason to engage in provocative actions.
Biden will deliver remarks on trade enforcement in San Diego on Wednesday before traveling to Los Angeles to present an athletic achievement award at the ESPY sports ceremony.
While in Hawaii on Thursday, Biden will attend a trilateral meeting with Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Shinsuke Sugiyama and South Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Lim Sung-nam. He will also visit the USS John Stennis to observe the multinational Rim of the Pacific naval exercises, a Pentagon spokesman said.
Biden will leave on Friday for Melbourne and Sydney, where he is to meet with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and other senior Australian leaders. He will visit Auckland, New Zealand, on July 20 to meet with Prime Minister John Key before returning to Washington.
Reporting by David Alexander; Editing by Peter Cooney