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Biden’s Pacific Strategy Heralds New Engagement in the Region

of White House On Thursday, it unveiled a Pacific Strategy designed to strengthen U.S. engagement with a dozen island nations on issues such as climate change and maritime security, pledging to expand the U.S. diplomatic presence in the region. promised.

The Biden administration announced a new strategy and a new $810 million aid plan. pacific islands as president Joe Biden I am ready to meet with the leaders who will attend the Pacific Islands Summit of the United States. The Democratic president was scheduled to address the summit on Thursday and then invite the leaders to a dinner at the White House.

Among the new initiatives announced by the White House is an allotment of $600 million over 10 years to Congress to support economic development and advance the climate resilience efforts of Pacific fisheries, and a grant to Suva, Fiji. There are plans to call for the establishment of regional missions for the United States Agency for International Development. Opened embassies in the Solomon Islands, Tonga and Kiribati.

The White House also announced plans to recognize the Cook Islands and Niue as sovereign states after “proper consultation.” The United Nations recognized in the early 1990s the right of her two autonomous islands in free association with New Zealand to establish diplomatic relations with other countries, although the United States was among those doing so. not

Biden has sought to shift U.S. foreign policy focus to Asia and step up engagement with Pacific island nations as part of a broader effort to counter China’s growing military and economic influence in the region. There is

The 16-page document points to a “growing impact of geopolitical competition” in Pacific island nations that also directly affects the United States.

“These impacts, increasingly including pressure and economic coercion by the People’s Republic of China, risk undermining the peace, prosperity and security of the region and, in turn, the peace, prosperity and security of the United States,” the strategy document said. I’m here. “These challenges require renewed U.S. engagement across the Pacific Islands region.”

Broad strategic goals documented by the Biden administration include expanding the number of U.S. diplomatic missions across the Pacific from six to nine and signing strategic partnership agreements with the Pacific island nations of Palau, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands. It includes completing the work to update. It is set to expire soon. The strategy also calls for increasing the regional presence of the US Coast Guard, NOAA, and the Pentagon.

Heads of state from Fiji, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and New Caledonia are participating in the two-day summit. Vanuatu and Nauru sent delegates, while Australia, New Zealand and the Executive Director of the Pacific Islands Forum sent observers, the White House said.

White House officials acknowledge that the United States’ inattention to the region since the end of the Cold War has left room for Beijing to wield influence.

Plans for the summit were announced earlier this month, days after the Solomon Islands asked the United States and Britain not to send naval vessels. South Pacific Until the approval process is reviewed. The Solomon Islands she signed a new security deal with China in April.

And just last week, the Marshall Islands pulled out of negotiating sessions with the United States over the Free Association Agreement, which expires next year. The Marshall Islands have said the United States was not involved in claiming adequate compensation for the legacy of US nuclear testing on the islands.

The Marshall Islands says dozens of experiments in the 1940s and 1950s caused extensive damage to the environment and health, but the 1980s settlement did not adequately address them.

In addition to meeting with Biden, island leaders are scheduled to meet with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimond on Thursday. Biden’s Pacific Strategy Heralds New Engagement in the Region

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