The President Joe Biden is presently hosting South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at Camp David.
While there's a long list of geopolitical issues that the three democratic leaders can discuss, they expect China and North Korea to be the two main topics.
On August 18th, a pledge between the three nations was taken. Our countries will be stronger, and our world will be safer, said Biden, thanking Yeol and Kishida for their political courage. For White House coverage, see below.
The so-called duty to consult commitment is being hailed as a joint effort among the three countries to strengthen Asia-Pacific relations amid escalating tensions with North Korea and China.
China is not rebuking North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's long-range missile tests, which he continues to conduct. The Chinese military has also been conducting exercises near Taiwan, which is an independent country despite China's label as a province. In a video released yesterday, Chinese President Xi Jinping said he is prepared to fight for a war with the United States.
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The White House has called the summit historic since it's the first time Biden has invited foreign leaders to the 125-acre retreat in Maryland, according to The Hill.
And the stakes are high. South Korea and Japan have strong economic ties, but diplomatic ambiguity is recurring for more than a century due to a long and complicated history between the two nations.
Smoothing things over offers a display of unity and sends a message to Beijing.
China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Wang Wenbin decried the meeting, saying: The international community has its own judgment as to who is creating contradictions and increasing tensions. The attempts to create several exclusive groups and cliques and bring block conflict into the Asia-Pacific region are unpopular and will definitely spark vigilance and opposition in the countries of the region.
The meeting also comes on the heels of Biden's most recent efforts to target China's tech power, particularly with semiconductors, by restricting certain investments.
China clapped back on Friday, rejecting Intel Corporation's planned $5.4 billion acquisition of tower Semiconductor from Santa Clara, California.
This type of summit will be an annual thing, as Biden, Yoon and Kishida expressed plans to meet each year going forward.