Cooperation with Pacific is fundamental, says US Deputy Secretary of State

Bangkok, Aug 7 (EFE).- United States Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said Sunday during her visit to the Solomon Islands that cooperation with the Pacific Islands was critical to the future of the region.

“We see cooperation with the Pacific Islands as absolutely critical to the future of the entire region,” said Sherman during a ceremony in Honiara in memory of the Second World War.

As part of her trip to several Pacific countries, and at a moment when China is increasing its influence in the area, Sherman expressed the US’ “solidarity” toward the Pacific islands describing it as a “priority” of the administration led by President Joe Biden.

Without directly referring to China or Russia, the deputy secretary stressed that the world was facing “a different kind of struggle that will go on for some time to come,” and criticized “leaders who believe that coercion, pressure, and violence are tools to be used with impunity.”

She added that there were leaders who believes that “the principles and institutions the world set up after the Second World War-the rules-based international order that has enabled peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and around the world for generations-can be ignored and undermined, diminished and destroyed.”

Sherman’s visit to the Solomon Islands comes at a time when China has been looking to extend its influence in the region, evident from the signing of a security pact between Beijing and Hanori in April, which alerted the US, Australia, New Zealand and other island nations.

The visit also comes amid increasing friction between the US and China following the US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit to Taiwan, which evoked a sharp response from Beijing, including military maneuvers with live fire, missile launches and simulated attacks on the island.

Sherman’s Pacific tour includes visits to Samoa, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Australia and New Zealand between Aug.3-9. EFE


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