In new Indo-Pacific move, US and allies launch Partners in the Blue Pacific initiative

Published on Jun 26, 2022 12:23 AM IST
In recent months, China has stepped up its engagement with Pacific Island states, including by signing a security agreement with the Solomon Islands
The guided missile cruiser USS Port Royal sails through the Pacific Ocean on December 13, 2005. (REUTERS/FILE)
The guided missile cruiser USS Port Royal sails through the Pacific Ocean on December 13, 2005. (REUTERS/FILE)

WASHINGTON: To reinforce its Indo-Pacific strategy, and in what is being seen as a response to China’s aggressive outreach to Pacific Island states, the United States (US) - along with Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom and Japan - announced a new Partners in Blue Pacific (PBP) initiative on Friday.

In a joint statement, the five countries said PBP was an “inclusive, informal mechanism” to support Pacific priorities, in line with the principles of “Pacific regionalism, sovereignty, transparency, accountability, and most of all, led and guided by the Pacific Islands”.

In recent months, China has stepped up its engagement with Pacific Island states, including by signing a security agreement with the Solomon Islands. This month, China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, also undertook an eight country tour in the region and hosted a China-Pacific Island Countries Foreign Ministers Meeting in Fiji.

The US and its allies said they would together, as well as individually, focus on three priority areas.

The first will be delivering results for the Pacific more effectively and efficiently. “We will map existing projects and plan future ones, seeking to drive resources, remove duplication, and close gaps, which will avoid greater burdens and lost opportunities for Pacific governments and Pacific people.”

The second area of focus is bolstering “Pacific regionalism”. “The PBP will forge closer connections with Pacific governments and with the Pacific Islands Forum, by facilitating stronger and more regular engagement with our governments. We will further elevate Pacific regionalism, with a strong and united Pacific Islands Forum at its center,” the statement said.

The final area of focus will be expanding cooperation between the Pacific and the rest of the world. PBP, the five countries said, will encourage and facilitate greater engagement with the Pacific by any other partner that shares the Pacific’s values and aims to work constructively and transparently to benefit the people of the region”.

The group said that the mechanism will remain inclusive, informal and open to cooperating with additional partners, but emphasised that it will be led and guided by the Pacific Island states.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Prashant Jha is the Washington DC-based US correspondent of Hindustan Times. He is also the editor of HT Premium. Jha has earlier served as editor-views and national political editor/bureau chief of the paper. He is the author of How the BJP Wins: Inside India's Greatest Election Machine and Battles of the New Republic: A Contemporary History of Nepal.

Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Japan's minister of state for measures for declining birthrate Masanobu Ogura. (REUTERS/Issei Kato)

    Japan's male minister tried ‘pregnancy belly’ to address falling birthrate issue

    Masanobu Ogura and two other male lawmakers were to keep the 7.3 kg (16 pound) pregnancy bellies on while going about their daily routines, in order to understand the burden on the body of carrying a child, the Sankei newspaper reported at the time.

  • This satellite image provided by Planet Labs PBC shows destroyed Russian aircraft at Saki Air Base after an explosion Tuesday, August 9, 2022, in the Crimean Peninsula, the Black Sea peninsula seized from Ukraine by Russia and annexed in March 2014. (Planet Labs PBC via AP)

    Ukraine says 9 Russian warplanes destroyed in Crimea blasts

    Ukrainian officials stopped short of publicly claiming responsibility for the explosions, while mocking Russia’s explanation that a careless smoker might have caused ammunition at the Saki air base to catch fire and blow up. Analysts also said that explanation doesn’t make sense and that the Ukrainians could have used anti-ship missiles to strike the base.

  • Several Public health experts have warned that the H1N1 virus along with Covid-19 could cause a "twindemic" in the Himalayan country. (Representation purpose)

    Nepal battles 'Twindemic' as swine flu wreaks havoc amid rising Covid cases

    According to the World Health Organisation's Global Influenza Surveillance, at least 57 cases of H1N1 infection have been reported since June 6 and the infection of 55 cases of AH3 virus also known as Hong Kong flu have been also reported in the same period.

  • Tesla and SpaceX founder and chief engineer Elon Musk.

    Elon Musk seeks to question Twitter employees who check bot accounts

    Elon Musk's legal team is demanding that Twitter Inc turn over the names of employees responsible for calculating what percentage of the social media site's users are bot and spam accounts, according to a source familiar with the matter. Twitter and Musk are in the discovery phase of the lawsuit and readying for a trial scheduled to begin Oct. 17 in Delaware. Twitter and a lawyer for Musk declined to comment.

  • Ousted Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena, File)

    Thailand allows Rajapaksa to temporarily stay in country, but has one condition

    Thailand foreign minister Don Pramudwinai said that the Sri Lankan government led by President Ranil Wickremesinghe did not object to Gotabaya Rajapaksa's visit to Thailand. However, the former president need to figure out his accommodation himself as the Thai government has refused to make any arrangements for the same.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, August 11, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now