U.S. to announce up to US$60b in regional aid at APEC summit: reports

Mike Pence is expected to announce up to US$60 billion in aid to counter growing Chinese influence in the Indo-Pacific region

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File photo: U.S. Vice President Mike Pence

File photo: U.S. Vice President Mike Pence (By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is expected to outline the U.S.’s Indo-Pacific Strategy in more detail and announce up to US$60 billion (NT$1.84 trillion) in regional assistance at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders Meeting in Papua New Guinea next week.

Kyodo News of Japan reports the US$60 billion announcement is a bid to diminish growing Chinese influence in the region, as part of its One Belt One Road development strategy.

The majority of funds is expected to be used to improve infrastructure like power, transport, water, and telecomunications.

The Straits Times of Singapore reports that during his third trip to Asia, Pence will speak in greater detail about the U.S.’s Indo-Pacific Strategy. The most significant speech is expected to be made on Nov. 17 at the APEC summit.

Pence will be on a whirlwind tour of Asia from Nov. 11 to 18, with the vice president representing U.S. President Donald Trump at the APEC summit, as well as the U.S.-ASEAN Summit and East Asia Summit in Singapore.

Pence is scheduled to visit Australia, Japan, Papua New Guinea, and Singapore during his trip. During bilateral meetings in these countries and on the sidelines of the summits, Pence is expected to speak about a range of regional security issues beyond the core thrust of the Indo-Pacific Strategy.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC, 台積電) founder Morris Chang (張忠謀) will represent Taiwan at the APEC summit.