Is it a competition with China? It would be hard to argue otherwise.
2 hours ago
July 30, 2018
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Monday a plan to spend $113 million on infrastructure, energy, and technology in the ‘Indo-Pacific’ region in a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The plan comes about at a time when China is perceived as a threat to America’s trade hegemony, while a burgeoning trade war between China and the US is waging, and when Beijing is investing large amounts of capital and diplomatic influence to eminently position itself.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Building on President Donald Trump’s “Indo-Pacific” strategy, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday announced $113 million in new regional investments focused on technology, energy and infrastructure.
The announcement comes at a time when trade frictions with China have given U.S. trade diplomacy a sharper edge.
A senior U.S. official said the investments were not aimed at countering China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which consists of mostly state-led infrastructure projects linking Asia, parts of Africa and Europe.
“These funds represent just a down payment on a new era in U.S. economic commitment to peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region,” Pompeo said a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
He said he would visit Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia this week, where he would also announce new security assistance in the region.
Pompeo said the United States “will oppose any country” which seeks to dominate the region in what appeared to be a reference to Beijing amid heightened tensions in the South China Sea.
“Like so many of our Asian allies and friends, our country fought for its own independence from an empire that expected deference,” Pompeo said. “We thus have never and will never seek domination in the Indo-Pacific, and we will oppose any country that does,” he added.
Countries in the region have been worried by Trump’s “America first” policy, withdrawal from the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal, and pursuit of a trade conflict with China that threatens to disrupt regional supply chains.