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Policy & History
November 18, 2023

The Pacific islands are steadfast friends and neighbors of the United States, and positive relations with the Pacific region are an enduring U.S. foreign policy priority.  The United States shares the values and aspirations of its Pacific neighbors, and its ties to the Pacific island countries are deep and long-standing.

The United States is committed to working with its Indo-Pacific partners to improve prosperity, recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and keep the region free and open for all.

In a major speech in Jakarta, Indonesia, Secretary of State Antony Blinken emphasized the United States’ long-standing ties to its fellow Indo-Pacific nations and highlighted recent U.S. steps to secure and improve upon those partnerships.

“We all have a stake in ensuring that the world’s most dynamic region is free from coercion and accessible to all,” Blinken said December 14. “We will work with our partners across the region to try to realize this vision.”

Strengthening freedom and security

Blinken described a free and open Indo-Pacific as a place where people can write their futures and participate in their communities. Countries, he said, can “choose their own path, free from coercion, free from intimidation.”

He praised the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ efforts toward a peaceful resolution of the crisis in Burma, where the military regime unleashed a brutal crackdown on the people and attempted to violently repress their calls for democracy.

To help maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific, the United States:

  • Supports anti-corruption groups and investigative journalists.
  • Promotes an open, interoperable, secure and reliable internet.
  • Defends freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, where more than $3 trillion worth of commerce passes every year.