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whitehouse.gov | Declaration on U.S.-Pacific Partnership, 29 Sep 11-point cover story
Pacific Islands Forum signatures (1971 PIC): AU, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Tokelau, Vanuatu
+ 1: USA

annotations (ICYM p 1 in GAO Feb 2022 report, prepared for Manchin and Murkowski)
Macau News | US announces $810 mn in new funding for Pacific Islands at summit, 30 Sep

The White House said $600 million will be in the form of a 10-year package to clean up and develop dirty waters to support the tuna [!] industry, while the United States will also expand climate and development aid and its diplomatic presence.
The Biden administration also announced that the United States would recognize Cook Islands and Niue, a self-governing territory whose foreign and defense policies and currency are linked to New Zealand. The step will allow the United States to increase its diplomatic footprint in the Cook Island and Niue, which have fewer than 20,000 inhabitants but constitute a sprawling economic zone in the South Pacific.
Launching a new strategy for engagement, Biden also designated a veteran US ambassador in the region, Frankie Reed, as the first-ever US envoy to the Pacific Islands Forum. The United States earlier announced the restoration of an embassy in the Solomon Islands, amid the heavy presence of China, and the White House said Thursday [29 Sep] that US embassies would also open in Tonga and Kiribati.
* liberated observer, dialogue: IN*, ID*, TH*, MY*, PH*, CN*, JP*, KR*; EU-CO*, TR*, UK*, US*, CA*, FR*, DE*, IT*,  ES*; CU*
The White House said that Canada and Germany will join and that France -- itself a South Pacific power [!] -- as well as the European Union, South Korea[,] and India would participate as non-members.
Speaking to AFP, [Solomon Islands PM Manasseh] Sogavare said that negotiations in Washington had addressed his concerns "in a positive way" ahead of the expected unveiling of a partnership declaration with the United States.

"We had specific issues on certain regional organizations such as ASEAN and the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue being included as no consultations with them have happened with Pacific small island developing states," Sogavare said, referring to the Southeast Asian bloc and the four-way Quad of the United States, Australia, Japan[,] and India. Sogavare said that his government also sought to insert language on a "cessation of hostilities and a peaceful resolution to the Ukraine [!] war." ...

Bloomberg | Solomons Signs US-Led Pacific Deal After Historic Meeting, 29 Sep money quote
• Biden commits more than $810 million to new [top up] Pacific initiative [COFA trust fund]
• Washington is trying to counter Beijing's diplomacy in Pacific
In the past year, the US and Australia have been increasingly concerned about growing Chinese government influence in the Pacific and have escalated diplomatic activity in the region. The UNEXPECTED announcement in April of a ["]security agreement["] being struck between China and the Solomon Islands was a major diplomatic win for Beijing [and Solomon Islands].
"We hope the US will offer support for these countries' development and revitalization, instead of using cooperation as a pretext to engage in geopolitical rivalry and replicate bloc confrontation," [Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman] Mao [Ning] said.
change.org | Jordon Steele-John's response, 29 Sep AUKUS
I am pleased to let you know that In the Australian Senate today I tabled this petition and supported its calls for Australia to withdraw from AUKUS, end the development of nuclear submarines and put a stop to Australia's integration with the US military. ...
by Cat on Fri Sep 30th, 2022 at 02:06:44 PM EST
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