The Biden administration published the first statement of its sort on September 29 concerning a strategic framework for relations with Pacific Island countries.
The measure was taken in the midst of increased efforts by the Chinese government to sway the region.
Pacific’s Stability is a Must for America
The White House stated in a release that the Pacific Partnership Strategy would support national security goals, while also fostering more participation and development in the area.
The text asserts the United States is a Pacific country whose heartland includes Guam, American Samoa, Hawaii, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
The Pacific region’s continued freedom and openness are necessary for American stability and prosperity. The plan mentions the Chinese government’s escalating involvement in the region.
It was great to welcome the leaders of the Pacific Islands to Washington for the first U.S.-Pacific Island Country Summit.
We honored the history and values that our nations share and expanded our cooperation on key areas that will benefit our people for years to come. pic.twitter.com/Cg07HyJyI9
— President Biden (@POTUS) September 30, 2022
Significantly, the strategy refers to the Pacific region as a “sub-region of the Indo-Pacific,” indicating it will probably be governed by the Indo-Pacific Strategy previously unveiled.
In that policy, it was said the US will put its attention on forging alliances and partnerships. This will be done to guarantee the region’s continued freedom and openness, prosperity, security, and resiliency in the face of escalating international competition.
The new strategic framework, moreover, emphasizes it is not centered on any enemies, but rather wants to positively improve the region. This can be done by strengthening partnerships and boosting trade and collaboration.
— Reuters (@Reuters) September 29, 2022
“We also want to make sure the sovereignty and security of the Pacific Islands, the United States, and our allies and partners are not compromised by escalating geopolitical competition.”
According to the statement, the administration intends to strengthen U.S. commitments in the area, establish economic ties, and increase the capacity to assist local powers.
It will also promote regionalism and collaborate with partners to build and defend sovereignty and peace for the Pacific Islands.
On the second and last day of the first U.S.-Pacific Island Summit in Washington, when the White House announced it would invest upwards of $810 million in new programs to assist the island countries, the concept was unveiled.
According to one senior administration official, the U.S. has given the Pacific Islands funding totaling well over $1.5 billion in the last ten years.
Chinese Initiatives Increase
Washington’s diplomatic effort coincides with the Chinese government’s intensified initiatives to improve its security and commercial connections with Pacific Island countries.
The United States and its partners in the region protested Beijing’s expanding military presence in the region after Beijing signed a security agreement with the Solomon Islands in April.
The new plan also declared its intention for the United States to officially acknowledge the Cook Islands and Niue as sovereign nations and allocate $600 million to secure regional tuna stocks.
The plan will likewise help America launch a new regional USAID objective, invest $3 million in Coast Guard capacity development and training building, and boost law enforcement cybersecurity collaboration.This article appeared in Powerhouse News and has been published here with permission.