US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinkenarrival Tonga, New Zealand and Australia The Biden administration is accelerating its strategy next week Indo-Pacific partly to counter the growing influence China in the region.
Blinken, the State Department said Thursday To open the new US embassy in Tonga’s capital, Nuku’alofaShe will attend the Women’s World Cup match between the USA and the Netherlands before traveling to Wellington, New Zealand on July 26.
Blinken will meet with New Zealand officials and travel to Brisbane, Australia to meet with the Defense Secretary. Lloyd Austinand their Australian counterparts on July 28 and 29.
This is Blingen’s third trip to Asia in the past two months, following a visit to China last month and a visit to Indonesia last week for talks with Southeast Asian officials. This is done by the Secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellenand climate messenger, John Kerry, recently completed their own trips to China. Second baseman Douglas Emhoff is currently in New Zealand for the World Cup and will make an additional trip to Samoa in the coming days.
Blinken’s trip was announced a week after the State Department announced to Congress that it planned massive increases in diplomatic personnel and facilities spending at new U.S. embassies in the Pacific Islands. The push for a US presence in the Pacific is a response to China’s growing assertiveness there.
During Blinken’s visit to China, he said he would try to “manage our relationship responsibly” by looking for ways to avoid “miscalculations” between the countries. “Intensive competition requires sustained diplomacy to ensure that competition does not escalate into confrontation or conflict.”
Blinken is the first senior US diplomat to visit Beijing since his predecessor, Mike Pompeo, made a brief stop in 2018.Then Donald Trump advocated an all-out confrontation with China in the final years of his presidency.
An update to Congress was obtained by the news agency PA, He noted that China has permanent diplomatic facilities in eight of the 12 Pacific Island countries recognized by the United States. America must catch up.
The department expects that from lawmakers 40 employees may be recruited in the next five years For each of the four newly opened or soon to be opened embassies in the Pacific.
A consulate in Nuku’alofa, a consulate in Honiara in the Solomon Islands, opened in January; and embassies are planned in Port Vila, Vanuatu, and Tarawa, Kiribati. Currently, There are only two temporary US staff in Honiara and Nuku’alofa.
At each of those stages, the department said it would spend at least $10 million on start-up, design and construction costs.
(With information from AP and AFP)