US pledges $300 million for Indo-Pacific security


Singapore, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday pledged $300 million in funding for security cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region. "As part of our commitment to advancing regional security in the Indo-Pacific, the US is excited to announce $300 million in new funding to reinforce security cooperation throughout the entire region," said Pompeo, who is attending Asean-related meetings here. Pompeo had earlier announced $113 million in new technology, energy and infrastructure initiatives in the region. He said the new security assistance will particularly advance maritime security, humanitarian assistance and peacekeeping capabilities, and countering transnational threats. He also raised concerns about the Chinese militarisation of the South China Sea and the importance of a rules-based order in the region, and discussed advancing cooperation on cybersecurity and counter-terrorism, including addressing the threat of terrorist fighters returning to the region. On Friday, Pompeo had met Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and discussed US concerns about China's ongoing militarization of the South China Sea, the State Department said in a statement. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi later told reporters that China welcomed, and was willing to work with the US for faster development and better security in the region. “If the US wants to help with regional countries for faster development and enhanced security, I think these moves are to be welcomed,” he said. “China as a developing country has been doing what it can in providing support and help. If the US so wishes, we would be willing to work with the US towards the same end,” he said.

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