(( Title: U.S. ENGAGEMENT IN INDO-PACIFIC
TYPE: RED ))
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Anncr: Next, an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government:
VOICE:As an Indo-Pacific nation, the United States is deeply committed to a free and open Indo-Pacific region that operates on a rules-based system, said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells.
Speaking to reporters in Washington in advance of her travel to the annual Indian Ocean Conference to be held this year in Hanoi August 27-28, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Wells said she looked forward to highlighting at the conference U.S. economic and security commitments to in the region. The United States is promoting sustained, mutually beneficial, and high-quality economic and commercial investment that conforms to international best practices for transparency, governance, and debt-sustainability.
This includes several funding initiatives in the areas of digital economy, infrastructure and energy that were announced in July by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Secretary Pompeo called the 113 million dollars “a down payment on a new era in U.S. economic commitment to peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.”
Additionally, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Wells noted, on August 4th Secretary Pompeo announced nearly $300 million in additional security assistance for the nations spanning the Indo-Pacific. The Trump administration is proposing to the Congress that more than $100 million of this funding will go toward South Asia, including 40 million for Bangladesh, 39 million for Sri Lanka, and 17 million for Nepal.
This investment, she said, will focus on maritime security, humanitarian assistance and disaster response, peacekeeping capabilities and countering transnational crime, all of which are key to ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific.
The theme of this year’s Indian Ocean Conference is building regional architectures, and it is a timely one. “South Asia,” she noted, “is the least economically connected region of the world in terms of intraregional trade, and building a stronger regional institutional architecture is one of my top priorities.”
That’s why, among other actions, the United States is expanding its diplomatic engagement with the Indian Ocean Rim Association and is lending its expertise to the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium..
“I look forward to engaging further with our partners at the Indian Ocean Conference on ways to develop…organizations and pursue initiatives that enhance the region’s security, stability and prosperity,” Ms. Wells said. “Secretary Pompeo,” she added, “summed up our approach well when he said, ‘Where America goes, we seek partnership, not domination.’”