A look ahead at the key events leading the news agenda next week, from the team at Foresight News. Delivered to your inbox on Fridays.
Leading the week
President Joe Biden heads out west next week for a series of high-profile events, starting on Monday (March 13) in San Diego when he’ll host AUKUS discussions with Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese and UK prime minister Rishi Sunak. The leaders are expected to announce the next steps in providing nuclear-powered submarines to Australia as the allies seek to counter China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific. Biden will also hold bilateral talks with both premiers, and discussions with Albanese will likely include preparations for the Quad leaders’ summit in Australia in May.
With Sunak, Biden is likely to discuss his expected visit to Ireland and Northern Ireland in April to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, with the recent announcement of a deal on post-Brexit arrangements for Northern Ireland viewed as removing a potential obstacle to the planned trip. The topic will likely also come up later in the week when Biden is expected to host Irish leaders for St Patrick’s Day celebrations. On Tuesday (March 14), Biden heads to Monterey – the site of a mass shooting in January – to deliver remarks on gun violence before heading to Las Vegas where he plans to discuss lowering the cost of prescription drugs on Wednesday (March 15). Biden is also reportedly due to attend a series of fundraising events during the trip, further fuelling speculation that he plans to seek re-election next year.
Speaking of 2024, Donald Trump will head to Iowa on Monday for the first time since announcing his plans to seek the Republican nomination, holding an education-focused event in Davenport. Nikki Haley, meanwhile, will continue her campaign to challenge Trump with an event in South Carolina on the same day. She’s also due to attend the Vision ’24 National Conservative Forum on Saturday (March 18) alongside other potential rivals Senator Tim Scott, former Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson, and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy.
In Beijing, the first session of China’s latest National People’s Congress wraps up on Monday (March 13). Following his re-election today to an unprecedented third term as president, Xi Jinping is scheduled to deliver a speech during Monday’s plenary, which will be followed by a press conference from the country’s new premier, widely expected to be Li Qiang though a formal announcement is not due until tomorrow (March 11). Xi’s address is likely to be one to watch, if the tone of recent comments is anything to go by. On Monday, new Chinese foreign minister Qin Gang gave a fiery press conference on the margins of the NPC, in which he ominously warned of ‘catastrophic consequences’ if the US does not change its stance towards China. That same day, state media reported that Xi had used a closed-door meeting to accuse the US and Western countries of having ‘implemented all-round containment, encirclement and suppression’ against Beijing.
Sticking with Asia, South Korean president Yoon Suk-yeol, who will pay a state visit to Washington next month, visits Japan on Thursday and Friday (March 16-17) and holds talks with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. It is the first visit by a South Korean leader to Japan in 12 years amid a long-running dispute over forced labor during Tokyo’s colonial rule that has hindered closer cooperation on issues of mutual concern such as China and North Korea.