Australia, Japan join US infrastructure push in Asia:The Asahi Shimbun

Pompeo to unveil investment push in Indo-Pacific

Anna Moneymaker

The US recently renamed its oldest and largest military command - the Pacific Command - to Indo-Pacific Command, in a largely symbolic move to signal India's importance.

"It's clear a big part of America's global economic future is in this region", he said. "We thus have never and will never seek domination in the Indo-Pacific, and we will oppose any country that does", he added.

"The Trump administration is committed to expanding our economic engagement in the Indo-Pacific region", the secretary said.

Last year, President Trump said in Vietnam, the Indo-Pacific is "a lovely constellation of nations, each its own bright star, satellites to none - and each one a people, a culture, a way of life, a home".

"We're convinced that American engagement in the Indo-Pacific benefits all the nations in that region".

These new strategic initiatives will focus on enhancing United States private investment in the region for improving digital connectivity and cyber security, promoting sustainable infrastructure development and strengthening energy security and access, according to the release.

The US will invest almost US$50 million this year alone to "help Indo-Pacific partners import, produce, move, store and deploy their energy resources", Mr Pompeo said.

"American entrepreneurs, whom most of you in this room represent, have been trading and investing in the Indo-Pacific even longer than that. American friendship is welcomed, and American businesses are recognised for their ingenuity, reliability, and honesty", Pompeo said.

Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have counter claims over the South China Sea.

In Jakarta on August 4 and 5, Pompeo is expected to reinforce the U.S. -Indonesia strategic partnership as the two nations look ahead to celebrating 70 years of bilateral diplomatic relations in 2019. We're looking for partnerships. We want the peaceful resolution of territorial and maritime disputes.

"I would say a year ago and a half of this administration has been a great deal of focus on deepening economic, security and diplomatic ties between the United States in India".

America's energy bounty includes vast natural resources, world-leading private firms, sophisticated development-finance tools, and peerless technical expertise. And there's so much more good work to come, Hook said. But he focused his remarks on the expanded role the Trump administration wants the USA private sector to play in the coming years - and its contrast with Beijing's approach. Although under the BUILD Act that recently passed the House and is now before the Senate, the USA government's development finance capacity would more than double to $60 billion dollars, that is far from enough for Indo-Pacific's needs, which is $26 trillion for infrastructure by the year 2030.

"In all these areas - digital economy, energy, and infrastructure - we look forward to working with allies and partners", Pompeo added.

According to a statement issued by State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert, the trip will take Pompeo to Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia from August 1 to 5.

Pompeo said, "When we say "free" Indo-Pacific, it means we all want all nations, every nation, to be able to protect their sovereignty from coercion by other countries". "Only the private sector does". China is pouring billions of dollars in investments into the region.

"Indo-Pacific" has become known in diplomatic circles as shorthand for a broader and democratic-led region in place of "Asia-Pacific", which from some perspectives had authoritarian China too firmly at its center.

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