Building on President Donald Trump's "Indo-Pacific" strategy, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday announced $113 million in new regional investments focused on technology, energy and infrastructure.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo unveiled the plan on Monday at the Indo-Pacific Business Forum held at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington.
A new pact between Australia, the U.S. and Japan to invest in the Indo-Pacific is being viewed as a challenge to China's influence but Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says no one country can meet the region's needs.
USA seeks "partnership, not domination" in Indo-Pacific region, declares @SecPompeo. "We thus have never and will never seek domination in the Indo-Pacific, and we will oppose any country that does".
"It is clearly in America's strategic interest to deepen engagement in the region", the Secretary of State said.
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Xie believes that America's new Indo-Pacific initiative will make the USA presence in the region stronger and with clearer focus.
Australia's diplomatic relationship with China, its most important trading partner, has been strained since December when Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Chinese meddling in the nation's government and media were a catalyst for new anti-foreign interference laws, which passed parliament last month.
"We will uphold these principles as we mobilize investment in infrastructure, such as energy, transportation, tourism, and technology that will help stabilize economies, enhance connectivity, and provide lasting benefits throughout the region", the statement said.
"American entrepreneurs, whom most of you in this room represent, have been trading and investing in the Indo-Pacific even longer than that".
"The American people and the whole world have a stake in the Indo-Pacific's peace and prosperity, it is why the Indo-Pacific must be free and open", he stressed. We want it to be free, we want it to be open. "We hope they will bring in real money and put forward some concrete measures to promote the welfare of the local people in its real sense", Geng added.
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Ray Washburne, president of the US government's Overseas Private Investment Corporation, said it hopes to double the $4 billion it now has invested in the Indo-Pacific "in the next few years". This is key for global peace and for each country's attainment of its own national aims. Still, he frequently sought to frame U.S. companies as the better partners for countries seeking foreign investment.
"I am announcing United States dollars 113 million in new USA initiatives to support foundational areas of the future: digital economy, energy, and infrastructure".
The US Department of Commerce (DOC), through Access Asia programme, proposes to dedicate 25 events, and its 2019 flagship trade mission, to connecting American firms with Indo-Pacific markets.
He also announced strengthened support for important regional institutions in the Indo-Pacific, including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and US-ASEAN Connect, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and the Lower Mekong Initiative, along with a first-ever contribution to the Indian Ocean Rim Association.
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