Secretary of State Announces Economic Initiatives in the Indo-Pacific

State Pompeo hosts religious freedom summit at the State Department in Washington

State Pompeo hosts religious freedom summit at the State Department in Washington

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced $113 million in new technology, energy and infrastructure initiatives in emerging Asia on Monday, at a time when China is pouring billions of dollars in investments into the region.

The US is looking at partnership and not dominance in the Indo-Pacific region, secretary of state Mike Pompeo said Tuesday as he unveiled a series of developmental initiatives, which many experts believe is to counter the "One Belt One Road" policy of China in the region.

The move comes nine months after the Trump administration openly spoke against the "predatory economic policies of an Asian giant" that threatens to eat into the sovereignty of countries in Indo-Pacific, which has now emerged as a critical engine for growth.

"When Secretary Pompeo said 'we seek partnership and not domination, ' and 'strategic partnership and not strategic dependency, ' the administration is basically telling the Chinese communists that their fantasy of expanding Chinese communist control and influence, when communism is dying as an ideology worldwide, is nothing but a hallucination", Xie said.

The new US initiatives and funding would be focused on digital economy, energy and infrastructure, Hook said, without giving any figures on investment amounts.

Pompeo encouraged private investment and promised to help American companies to develop in the region.

Earlier in the day, Pompeo launched the economic and commercial pillars of the Trump administration's Indo-Pacific strategy. This represents a strategic investment in deeper engagement with the Indo-Pacific while growing our own economy and creating jobs at home, the state department said.

"Later this week, I will make further announcements on security assistance", Mr Pompeo said.

"In both scale and scope, these initiatives pale in ambition relative to comparable initiatives by China", Prasad said. "We really do see that India is one of the anchor countries in how we bring this whole region into greater connectivity and really boost commerce and trade across the region", she said. Instead, he said that the government would play a minimal role in the initiatives, unlike China's plans, which are largely state-led. We supported transformational agricultural efforts, such as the Green Revolution, which forever improved farming of wheat and rice worldwide - and nowhere more than in the Indo-Pacific.

Labor leader Bill Shorten said the government was just playing catch-up, after "dropping the ball" in the Pacific and eroding its leadership role by slashing overseas aid by nearly $12 billion to its lowest levels in history. "The fact is that we demonstrate consistently that Australia is very focused on making sure we can help the least-developed economies in our region".

"For that to happen, Indo-Pacific leaders must prioritize transparency, anti-corruption, and responsible financing".

Speaking to business leaders in Washington, Pompeo said the U.S. would invest US$113m in digital economy, energy and infrastructure in the region and double the government's development finance capacity to US$60bn.

"This is meant to be an articulation of a robust policy and engagement from the United States, from the government and from the business community and desire to do so in a way that is collaborative and consultative with our partners and counterparts across the region", she said.

During his stay in Singapore, he will also attend the ASEAN Regional Forum, the East Asia Summit Ministerial, the U.S. -ASEAN Ministerial, and the Lower Mekong Initiative Ministerial to engage other foreign ministers on the region's pressing security challenges, reinforce the U.S. commitment to partnerships in the lower Mekong region, and reaffirm its dedication to the region.

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