WASHINGTON D.C.: The White House has reported that the U.S., Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the UK have created an informal group, dubbed Partners in the Blue Pacific (PBP), to expand their economic and diplomatic relations with Pacific island nations.
Amidst China's efforts to enlarge its economic, military and police links with Pacific island nations looking for foreign investments, the Biden administration has vowed to commit more resources to the Indo-Pacific region.
The new group will support Pacific regionalism and strengthen economic ties between the Pacific islands and the outside world.
"We are united in our shared determination to support a region that benefits the peoples of the Pacific. We are also united in how we realize this vision, according to principles of Pacific regionalism, sovereignty, transparency, accountability, and most of all, led and guided by the Pacific Islands," according to a White House statement.
Last week, White House Indo-Pacific coordinator Kurt Campbell said that as Washington steps up its engagement to counter China in the strategically important region, he expects more high-level U.S. officials to visit Pacific island countries.
The U.S. needed more contact with Pacific island countries that "receive lesser attention," as well as "more diplomatic facilities in the region," he added.