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U.S. to counter China's $1 trillion Belt and Road with $113 million

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Staff Writer | July 31, 2018
Mike Pompeo
Trade war   Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced $113 million in new technology, energy and infrastructure initiatives in emerging Asia.

In a policy speech delivered amid increased U.S. trade frictions with China and other Asian countries, Pompeo sought to define the economic aspect of President Donald Trump's "Indo-Pacific" strategy, which aims to cast the United States as a trustworthy partner in the region.

Pompeo said Washington wants a "free and open" Asia not dominated by any one country, an apparent reference to China's growing economic clout and heightened tensions in the disputed 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 told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

"We thus have never and will never seek domination in the Indo-Pacific, and we will oppose any country that does."

"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.

Pompeo said he will visit Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia this week, where he planned to announce new security assistance.

U.S. officials said the American strategy does not aim to compete directly with China's Belt and Road Initiative, which involves dozens of countries in an estimated $1 trillion of mostly state-led infrastructure projects linking Asia, parts of Africa and Europe, but rather to offer a more sustainable alternative by encouraging private-sector investment.


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