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US doubling down on Pacific, says Deputy Secretary Sherman

Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said Tuesday she is doubling down on U.S. investment in the Pacific following a five-nation trip to that region, where China has been making inroads.

A signing event in Wellington, New Zealand's capital, saw Sherman say, "Our future will be written in the Pacific." Critics have accused the U.S. of neglecting the region and allowing China’s influence to flourish.

Many in the Pacific fear a military buildup could result from the Solomon Islands signing a security pact with China in April. On Sunday, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare skipped a service commemorating the Battle of Guadalcanal that Sherman attended with her and other dignitaries. Just earlier this year, the U.S. announced its plans to rebuild an embassy in the Solomon Islands.

The United States has always been a Pacific nation, according to Sherman. To rebuild alliances and relationships with Pacific partners, she said, President Biden has prioritized rebuilding alliances and relationships around the world.

9 August 2022


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