US pledges $410 million to boost security in S-E Asia

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

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo yesterday announced nearly US$300 million (S$410 million) for security cooperation in the Indo-Pacific as his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi staged a robust defence of China's military build-up in the South China Sea. Both men were in Singapore for Asean-related meetings.

Mr Pompeo said the funds, which were seen as a clear signal of US commitment to the region, would go to maritime security, humanitarian assistance and peacekeeping development, and countering transnational threats. The amount would be in addition to US$113 million in economic initiatives unveiled earlier last week.

Mr Wang, in the meantime, described China's militarisation in the South China Sea as acts of self-defence prompted by US show of military strength in the disputed waters.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 05, 2018, with the headline 'US pledges $410 million to boost security in S-E Asia'. Print Edition | Subscribe