Published: Sun, August 05, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

USA commits US$300 million to enhance Indo-Pacific’s security

USA commits US$300 million to enhance Indo-Pacific’s security

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday said Washington was committed to rule of law in the South China Sea and wanted to move ahead with more investment in the Indo-Pacific region.

Speaking to reporters after meeting Pompeo on the sidelines of a regional summit in Singapore, Chinese State Councillor Wang Yi said Pompeo told him he was "was willing to maintain constructive contact".

He said the "single draft COC negotiating text", agreed at high-level talks in June but only announced on Thursday, would serve as the basis for negotiations.

Tensions have mounted in recent years as China has built up artificial islands in the waters capable of hosting military bases, and the USA has thrown its support behind Southeast Asian states whose maritime claims overlap Beijing's.

Asean-related meetings to be held in Singapore through Saturday will include foreign ministers not just from Asean but such countries as Australia, Canada, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, the U.S. and the two Koreas.

The decision of the Philippine government to go into a joint exploration of natural resources with China in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) signed away Philippine sovereignty in the contested area.

The use of "Indo-Pacific" has grown among diplomats from Japan, Australia, India and the United States in recent years, a shorthand for a democratic-led region, as opposed to an "Asia-Pacific" with China at its center.

THE NETS: KENNY ATKINSON GIVES SQUAD NEW DIRECTION
They had very few three-pointers to speak of; in other words, they were the opposite of what the NBA is supposed to be today. In fact, not only do they have deficiencies, but they do not even have the tools or resources to resolve those deficiencies.

Organizers did not directly link the exercises to the territorial disputes, which escalated after China turned seven disputed reefs into man-made islands, including three with runways.

Beijing's Ambassador to Washington Cui Tiankai recently confirmed that Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe and Chinese naval commander Vice Admiral Shen Jinlong would be visiting the USA during the second half of this year, according to a Global Times article translated by the official Chinese Military Online.

A draft of the ministerial statement seen by BenarNews said foreign ministers would express their concerns to China's continued reclamation in the region.

The work document includes the realization by China and the 10 Asean countries in those waters of joint military maneuvers which should not involve countries out of the region.

USA officials said the Indo-Pacific strategy does not aim to compete directly with China's Belt and Road Initiative. They said the two sides would first try to craft easier provisions before moving on to contentious ones, such as whether the accord should be legally binding and its geographic scope. At the same time, each Asean member state is subject to different pulls and pressures from bigger powers. You have claimant and non-claimant states.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in Malaysia, the first stop of an Asia tour expected to focus on promoting free trade and pressuring North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.

Like this: