Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David R. Stilwell participated in the East Asia Summit (EAS) 2020 Senior Officials Meeting that was held via videoconference on July 20, 2020.
The Assistant Secretary reaffirmed U.S. commitment to the Indo-Pacific and support for sovereignty and a rules-based international order during the virtual meeting. He highlighted ASEAN’s role at the heart of the U.S. vision for the Indo-Pacific and our commitment to work with partners and allies.
Assistant Secretary Stilwell noted that the United States has provided close to $85 million in emergency health and humanitarian assistance to ASEAN countries to combat COVID-19 this year. He also stressed that the United States stands resolutely with our friends in Southeast Asia, including to uphold the rule of law and oppose the PRC’s unlawful effort to bully and steal the offshore resources of its neighbors in the South China Sea.
Finally, Assistant Secretary Stilwell encouraged EAS countries to address pressing regional security challenges. These include Beijing’s imposition of draconian national security legislation in Hong Kong, which flouts PRC commitments under the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984; the Rohingya crisis and escalating violence in Rakhine state; and the DPRK, which must abide by UN Security Council Resolutions and return to diplomatic engagement.