China foreign minister to visit 4 Asian countries

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is starting a four-nation tour of Asia on Friday, traveling to Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore and South Korea.

China's Foreign Ministry has said the minister will pay official visits to the four countries from Friday through Wednesday. The ministry says Wang's itinerary will include talks with the foreign ministers of Vietnam and Singapore.

Wang is also scheduled to meet South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong. The two are expected to discuss the Korean Peninsula as well as global issues.

The ministry says China stands ready to work together with the four countries to "jointly defend multilateralism and international equity and justice, and inject more positive energy into promoting regional and global peace, stability and prosperity."

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin visited Singapore and Vietnam in July, and US Vice President Kamala Harris visited those countries in August.

Analysts say Beijing is aiming to counter an apparent attempt by US President Joe Biden's administration to create a network to contain China.