Asean at heart of Indo-Pacific strategy: Pompeo

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (left) and China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi (right) shake hands during their bilateral meeting at the 51st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in Singapore on Aug 3, 2018.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (left) and China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi (right) shake hands during their bilateral meeting at the 51st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in Singapore on Aug 3, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo yesterday sought to reassure fellow ministers that Asean is central to Washington's Indo-Pacific strategy, which members of the group have thus far been lukewarm about.

Foreign ministers from Asean and its key partners are meeting in Singapore this week, with shifts in the global order and trade tensions high on the minds of many. The ministers have stressed the importance of keeping the regional architecture open and inclusive, and resolving disagreements through dialogue.

The meetings culminate in the 27-member Asean Regional Forum today, when ministers including Mr Pompeo, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and top North Korean diplomat Ri Yong Ho will discuss security challenges facing the region.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 04, 2018, with the headline 'Asean at heart of Indo-Pacific strategy: Pompeo'. Print Edition | Subscribe