Biden, Snak agree to continue US-UK cooperation against China’s ‘malicious influence’

US President Joe Biden and new UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak have agreed they need to work together against the “malicious influence” of the Chinese regime, Downing Street said.

The two leaders made their first call on October 26, hours after Sunak officially became prime minister.

A Downing Street spokeswoman said Biden congratulated Sunak on the appointment, adding that “leaders looked forward to working closely together.”

Mr Biden said the UK remained the US’s “closest ally” and Mr Sunak agreed with the “huge strength” of the relationship, a spokesman said.

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UK Prime Minister Rishi Snack waves to members of the media after taking office outside 10 Downing Street, London, 25 October 2022. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

The two leaders discussed Anglo-American cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, saying the AUKUS agreement forms part of their joint efforts to “increase stability and counter China’s malicious influence.” Downing Street said.

AUKUS is a landmark agreement signed in September 2021 that will provide Australia with technology and capabilities for the UK and US to deploy nuclear submarines. It is widely seen as a regional alliance to counter the growing influence of the Chinese regime in the Indo-Pacific.

Biden and Snack agreed on the importance of working together to “address the challenges posed by China,” according to a White House readout of the conversation.

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President Joe Biden addresses the COVID-19 situation in the United States from the South Court Auditorium at the White House Campus in Washington on October 25, 2022. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

According to Downing Street, the two leaders, who will meet at the G20 summit in Indonesia in the coming weeks, will need to ensure the people of Northern Ireland remain “safe and prosperous” by keeping the Belfast Accord. Even agreed. The Belfast Agreement is also known as the Good Friday Agreement.

The UK government has indicated its intention to scrap parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol that forms part of the Brexit Withdrawal Bill, aimed at preventing a hard border on the island of Ireland after the UK leaves the European Union.

The protocol has been strongly opposed by union members in the UK states, who complain that it effectively keeps Northern Ireland within the EU single market while creating borders in the Irish Sea between the states and mainland Britain. ing.

The EU has criticized Britain’s actions, which violate international law and undermine trust between the two countries. The Biden administration had also warned Sunak’s predecessor, Liz Truss, against “an effort to cancel the Northern Ireland Protocol.”

Another issue of common concern that the two leaders discussed was the war in Ukraine.

Biden and Snack reflected on the “leading role” they both play in “supporting the people of Ukraine and ensuring that Putin fails in this war.”

Earlier, Sunak spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky by phone, saying that Britain’s support for Ukraine was “unprecedented under his prime minister” and that Ukraine had promised “continued solidarity”. He said he can expect to keep it.

According to Downing Street, Sunak also noted the importance of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s activities in Ukraine, which he said “ensure nuclear safety and provide transparency on disinformation.”

PA Media contributed to this report.

Alexander Chan