Following the release of the Indo-Pacific Strategy in February 2022, the United States, in coordination with allies and partners, has taken historic strides to advance our common vision for an Indo-Pacific region that is free and open, connected, prosperous, secure, and resilient. The United States continues to demonstrate leadership and commitment to the Indo-Pacific, reinforcing the region’s capacity and resilience to address the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century and showing that we can build a better future together.
In the past year, the United States has worked closely with like-minded allies and partners to:
- Ensure that the region remains free and open by strengthening democratic institutions, the rule of law, and a vibrant civil society through the Summit for Democracy Year of Action and implementation of the U.S. Strategy on Countering Corruption;
- Build connections within and beyond the region and strengthen the regional architecture by launching the Partners in the Blue Pacific to advance coordination among likeminded partners in support of Pacific Islands’ priorities, elevating the U.S.-ASEAN Relationship to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, and accelerating cooperation with allies and partners through our long-standing relationships as well as new flexible groupings and dialogues such as the Quad and the U.S.-EU Indo-Pacific Consultations;
- Drive regional prosperity through the launch of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity with 13 regional partners, our APEC host year, the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade and the U.S.-Taiwan Technology Trade and Investment Collaboration (TTIC) framework, expanded economic-focused work in the Quad, and Just Energy Transition Partnerships with Indonesia and Vietnam;
- Bolster regional security by strengthening our network of security alliances and partnerships, increasing joint military exercises and capacity-building programs for maritime security and cybersecurity, and launching the Australia – United Kingdom – United States (AUKUS) partnership; and
- Advance regional resilience to 21st-century transnational threats by providing over 267 million doses of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines to the region and building capacity to enhance regional response to future health emergencies as well as mobilizing billions of dollars in clean energy, clean air, and climate resilience projects throughout the region.
Select achievements the Administration has made towards the 10 core lines of effort identified in the Indo-Pacific Action Plan released alongside the U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy include the following:
Drive New Resources to the Indo-Pacific
The United States has reaffirmed its commitment to the Indo-Pacific by making significant new regional investments. In 2022 alone, the United States provided over $2 billion in foreign assistance to the region, expanded our diplomatic engagement, and coordinated with allies and partners to dedicate additional resourcing for Indo-Pacific priorities. Our resourcing efforts supported critical advancements in economic development and capacity building, regional security, and climate resilience and adaptation. For example:
- Diplomatic Presence. The United States significantly expanded our diplomatic engagement and presence in the region. This includes establishing a new embassy in Maldives and initiating discussions on opening two new embassies in the Pacific Islands: one in Tonga, one in Kiribati. The United States also announced the opening of its embassy in Honiara, Solomon Islands in February.
- Economic Assistance. Key economic engagement initiatives include the launch of the U.S.-Indonesia Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact in November, dedicating $698 million to support the country’s infrastructure and development goals; a commitment to triple economic assistance relating to the South Pacific Tuna Treaty, with $600 million in economic assistance over 10 years; and a U.S.- Timor-Leste MCC Compact in July, which totals $484 million to increase access to clean water and improve secondary education. In response to the crisis in Sri Lanka, the United States announced nearly $240 million in new U.S. assistance and loans to bolster Sri Lanka’s economy.
- Security Assistance. The United States has provided over $620 million in FY 2022 security assistance to the region, and $13.55 billion in FY 2022 Indo-Pacific foreign military sales. We continue to support peacekeeping rotations in the region and capacity-building efforts to combat transnational crime, corruption, and other shared challenges.
- Global Health and Climate Resilience. The United States has provided 267 million doses of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines to the Indo-Pacific; dedicated $520 million in FY 2022 health assistance; and budgeted $165 million in FY 2022 assistance for climate adaptation, resilience, and clean energy projects throughout the region. The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation supports clean energy development throughout the Indo-Pacific, including through a $500 million loan to support solar manufacturing in India.
- Regional Capacity Building in Coordination with Allies and Partners. The United States continues to amplify these assistance and capacity-building efforts in close partnership with its allies and partners, including through the launch of the Partners in the Blue Pacific, and the continuation of the U.S.-EU Indo-Pacific Consultations and the U.S.-UK high-level consultations on the Indo-Pacific.
Drive Indo-Pacific Economic Prosperity
Over the past year, the United States has deepened our economic engagement in the region and provided an affirmative model for economic cooperation through the launch of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity; seized opportunities to harness innovation in the clean energy, digital, and technology sectors; and built regional capacity to fortify economies against vulnerabilities such as fragile supply chains and corruption. Key examples include:
- The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF). In May 2022, President Biden launched IPEF with 13 regional partners, who represent 40 percent of global GDP. IPEF sets an affirmative vision for economic cooperation and will address major challenges of the 21st Century, including supply chain resilience, trade, setting the rules for the digital economy, a clean energy transition, and anticorruption.
- Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). The United States is hosting APEC in 2023. Our theme “Creating a Resilient and Sustainable Future for All,” advances practical economic policies as the region emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic and collectively seeks to address supply chain shocks, struggling health systems, food insecurity, and climate change.
- U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade. In June 2022, the United States and Taiwan established the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade to develop concrete ways to deepen the economic and trade relationship, advance mutual trade priorities based on shared values, and promote innovation and inclusive growth for our workers and businesses.
- U.S.-India Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology. In May 2022, President Biden and Prime Minister Modi announced the U.S.-India Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET) to expand the strategic technology partnership and defense industrial cooperation between the governments, businesses, and academic institutions of the United States and India. On January 31, the National Security Advisors of both countries met and launched new initiatives to strengthen the innovation ecosystems in both countries, advance defense industrial cooperation, build resilient semiconductor supply chains, elevate space cooperation, and partner on next generation telecommunications.
- Clean Energy. To accelerate the region towards a cleaner energy future, the United States has launched Just Energy Transition Partnerships (JETP) with Indonesia and Vietnam, and looks forward to new JETP partners. Additionally, the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has provided $13.4 million to support 14 new climate-smart infrastructure activities across seven countries to further clean energy and decarbonization goals, which is expected to unlock over $24 billion in public and private financing. The United States is also engaging with Bhutan’s Department of Hydropower and Power Systems to provide technical assistance engagement in the hydrogen sector, and has launched a new clean energy partnership with Thailand.
The United States continues to promote regional security, deepen cooperation, and enhance interoperability to deter military aggression against our allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific. In addition to our robust bilateral relationships, we have expanded cooperation through:
- The Australia – United Kingdom – United States (AUKUS) Partnership. Since the AUKUS announcement in September 2021, the trilateral partners are developing the optimal pathway for Australia to acquire a conventionally-armed, nuclear-powered submarine capability, to be announced in early 2023.
- U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee. In January 2023, the U.S. Secretaries of State and Defense met with their Japanese counterparts to discuss modernizing the U.S.-Japan alliance in a new era of strategic competition, including optimizing force posture, and bolstering alliance roles, missions, and capabilities. The United States welcomed the convergence of U.S. and Japanese national security strategies to support a free and open Indo-Pacific, supported by Japan’s expansion of defense relationships with other allies and partners.
- Extended Deterrence Dialogues. The United States conducted extended deterrence dialogues with Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Australia in 2022 to strengthen alliance deterrence and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
- Presence. Through both force posture advancements and expanded multinational military operations in the Indo-Pacific, the United States is continuing to invest in regional security. This includes designating four new Enhanced Defense Cooperation (EDCA) sites with the Philippines and collaborating with likeminded allies and partners on exercises such as Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Cobra Gold and MALABAR.
- Maritime Domain Awareness and Maritime Security. In May, alongside our Quad partners, we launched a new initiative, the Indo-Pacific Partnership for Maritime Domain Awareness (IPMDA), which will provide technology and training to support enhanced, shared maritime domain awareness to promote stability and prosperity in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific.
- Coast Guard Presence. The United States is increasing the role of the Coast Guard in the Indo-Pacific. In 2022, the United States Coast Guard provided over 26 training courses in disaster response, law enforcement, small boat operations, search and rescue, and engineering and maintenance, strengthening ties in Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
Strengthen an Empowered and Unified ASEAN
The ASEAN-led regional architecture is central to a free and open Indo-Pacific. The United States continues to support implementation of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific, and in the past year has overseen an unprecedented expansion in U.S.-ASEAN relations, marked by the first U.S.-ASEAN Special Summit held in Washington D.C. in May 2022 and the elevation of U.S.-ASEAN relations to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
- U.S.-ASEAN Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. At the 10th annual U.S.-ASEAN Summit in November 2022, President Biden and ASEAN leaders elevated U.S.-ASEAN relations to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, the highest relationship tier granted by ASEAN.
- U.S.-ASEAN Special Summit in Washington, DC. In May 2022, President Biden welcomed the ASEAN leaders to the White House for a historic U.S.-ASEAN Special Summit. The United States announced new initiatives to support ASEAN programs in climate action, access to education, maritime cooperation, and promoting global health and health security.
- High-Level U.S.-ASEAN Dialogues. In 2022, President Biden expanded U.S.-ASEAN relations by launching four new high-level dialogue processes: the U.S.-ASEAN Health Ministerial, the U.S.-ASEAN Ministerial Dialogue on Gender and Women’s Empowerment, the U.S.-ASEAN Senior Transport Officials Dialogue, and the Senior Officials’ Dialogue on the Environment and Climate. The second annual U.S.-ASEAN Energy Ministers’ Meeting was also held in 2022. These dialogues build on our long-standing ministerial dialogues with ASEAN on foreign affairs, defense, and economics.
- U.S.-ASEAN Smart Cities Partnership (USASCP). In 2022, the USASCP launched the Smart Cities Innovation Fund to fund net-zero and low-carbon solutions to urban challenges. USASCP also launched its Green Buildings Program, contributing to the United States’ expanded strategic partnership with Singapore.
- ASEAN Single Window (ASW). U.S. assistance to the ASEAN Single Window, a program that fosters the global development of interoperable Single Window systems to facilitate trade across the Pacific and adopt international best practices in customs technology, has saved private firms an estimated $2.7 billion to date by streamlining trade to make it more transparent and secure, lowering costs for businesses and prices for consumers.
- Expanding Maritime Cooperation. In 2022, the United States announced several new maritime initiatives in Southeast Asia. These include maritime training and capacity-building programs to enhance maritime law enforcement, help ASEAN counties counter illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, and the deployment of a cutter to Southeast Asia and Oceania for security cooperation and to operate as a training platform.
- Supporting Access to Education. The strength of U.S.-ASEAN relations is anchored in the strong ties shared by our combined one billion people. In 2022, the United States announced the creation of a U.S.-ASEAN University Connections program that will explore opportunities for collaborative research and teaching initiatives, doubling the size of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative and Fulbright U.S.-ASEAN Visiting Scholarship Program, and significantly expanding English language programs in Southeast Asia.
Support India’s Continued Rise and Regional Leadership
The United States supports India’s leadership in the region through multilateral and bilateral fora.
- Clean Energy and Climate. The United States is supporting India in its goal of installing 500 Gigawatts of non-fossil fuel energy by 2030. We cooperate on clean energy ventures principally through our Strategic Clean Energy Partnership (SCEP).
- Critical Infrastructure. The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) concluded a new Investment Incentive Agreement on June 15, 2022 to invest in India’s critical infrastructure.
- Security Cooperation. The United States and India conducted Exercise TIGER TRIUMPH, a three-day joint humanitarian assistance exercise at India’s Eastern Naval Command in Visakhapatnam. We also completed a Joint Combined Exchange Training between the United States 3rd Special Forces Group and India’s 4th Parachute Special Forces Battalion, and conducted Yudh Abhyas, a high-altitude U.S. and Indian army exercise in Uttarakhand state.
- Maritime Security. The United States participated in the Indian-led MILAN multilateral naval exercise, marking the first time the United States has joined India’s premier international exercise. We also held another successful iteration of the U.S.-India-Australia-Japan MALABAR naval exercise and welcomed the Indian Navy’s participation in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) naval exercise.
- UN 1267 Committee. The United States supported and collaborated with India on nominating and designating high-profile terrorists throughout 2022 at the UN 1267 Committee.
- Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI). The United States became co-chair of the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI), an initiative founded by permanent co-chair India to strengthen global cooperation on climate and disaster resilient infrastructure and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- Summit for Democracy. The United States supports India’s robust participation in the Summit for Democracy, including their continued leadership in the Democracy Cohort on Elections Integrity.
Deliver on the Quad
The United States continues to work with our Quad partners to strengthen the Quad’s role as a premier regional grouping that delivers on issues that matter to the Indo-Pacific. In 2022, we demonstrated that the Quad is committed to bringing tangible benefits to the region through high-level meetings, signature initiatives, and regular activities. For example:
- Third Quad Leader-Level Meeting and Fifth Quad Foreign Ministers Meeting. In May 2022, the Quad Leaders convened in Tokyo, where they renewed their steadfast commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific that is inclusive and resilient. On the sidelines of the 77th United Nations General Assembly in September 2022, the Secretary of State hosted the foreign ministers of Australia, India, and Japan, in New York City to deepen Quad multilateral cooperation.
- Leadership on High-Standards Infrastructure. Quad partners are leaders in building quality infrastructure in the Indo-Pacific region. Since 2015, Quad partners have provided more than $48 billion in official finance for infrastructure in the region.
- COVID-19 and Global Health Security. The Quad continues to lead global efforts for COVID-19 response and has to date pledged $5.2 billion to the COVAX AMC and delivered over 267 million doses to the Indo-Pacific.
- Quad Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Package (Q-CHAMP). In May 2022, Quad partners launched Q-CHAMP, advancing activities on green shipping and ports, clean energy cooperation, strengthening clean energy supply chains, climate information services, and disaster risk reduction.
- Quad Fellowship. In December 2022, the Quad partnered with private sponsors to jointly announce the Quad Fellowship’s first cohort of 100 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) graduate students – a first-of-its-kind scholarship designed to spur scientific and technological innovation.
- Quad Partnership on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR). In May 2022, Quad Leaders launched the Quad Partnership on HADR in the Indo-Pacific, and the Foreign Ministers signed into operation the Guidelines for the Partnership in September. The Partnership will augment the Quad’s capacity and capability, interoperability, and operational synergy to undertake coordinated HADR operations to rapidly assist regional partners in the event of natural disasters and humanitarian crises in the Indo-Pacific region.
- Quad Technology Business and Investment Forum. In December 2022, Quad partners launched the inaugural Quad Technology Business and Investment Forum, bringing together government, academia, and industry representatives to identify opportunities for high-impact collaboration on strategic technology challenges and harness innovation between Quad partners.
Expand U.S.-Japan-ROK Cooperation
In the past year, we have deepened our cooperation with key allies and partners, particularly Japan and the ROK, on regional security, development, and strategy. We continue to build trilateral coordination, guided by shared values, driven by innovation, and committed to shared prosperity and security.
- Trilateral U.S.-Japan-ROK Summit in Phnom Penh. In November 2022, President Biden, Prime Minister Kishida, and President Yoon met and released a statement reaffirming the trilateral partnership guided by shared values.
- Trilateral Security Cooperation. U.S., Japanese, and ROK defense ministers recommitted to trilateral security cooperation to address common security challenges in the Indo-Pacific in June 2022.
- NATO Summit. In June 2022, Japan and the ROK, alongside Australia and New Zealand, attended a leaders-level NATO Summit for the first time. President Biden, Prime Minister Kishida, and President Yoon met together for the first time on the sidelines of the NATO Summit to discuss enhancing trilateral cooperation to address the evolving threat posed by the DPRK’s unlawful weapons programs.
Partner to Build Resilience in the Pacific Islands
The United States has demonstrated our deep and enduring partnership with the Pacific Island Countries and expanded our diplomatic, development, and people-to-people efforts in coordination with key partners.
- Partners in the Blue Pacific (PBP). In June 2022, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States established the Partners in the Blue Pacific: an inclusive, informal coordination mechanism that builds on partners’ longstanding commitment to the Pacific region and reaffirms their support for Pacific priorities including prosperity, resilience, and security in the region. The PBP held its first ministerial at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 77) in September 2022. Since the PBP was established, Canada, Germany, and the Republic of Korea have joined the initiative as partners.
- U.S.-Pacific Island Country Summit. In September 2022, President Biden hosted the first ever U.S.-Pacific Island Country Summit in Washington, D.C., marking a new milestone in U.S.-Pacific cooperation. At the Summit, President Biden announced over $810 million in funding for additional and expanded programs for the Pacific Island Countries.
- U.S. Strategy for the Pacific Islands. We launched the first-ever U.S. Pacific Partnership Strategy in September 2022 as an addendum to the Indo-Pacific Strategy, aligned with the Pacific Islands Forum’s 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent.
- Partnership with the Freely Associated States. The United States signed Memoranda of Understanding with each of the Freely Associated States—Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands, and Palau—reflecting our shared understanding on levels and types of future U.S. assistance to be requested. The Memoranda were signed as part of the ongoing Compact of Free Association negotiations and mark an important milestone in our progress toward final agreements.
- Recognition of Cook Islands and Niue. The United States will recognize the Cook Islands and Niue as sovereign states, following appropriate consultations.
- Diplomatic Presence in the Pacific Islands. At the U.S.-Pacific Island Country Summit, President Biden announced the designation of Ambassador Frankie Reed as the first-ever U.S. Envoy to the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF).
- Return and Expansion of the Peace Corps. Peace Corps volunteers returned to Fiji in 2022 and will return to Tonga, Samoa, and Vanuatu in 2023 to support communities on education, health, community economic development, and climate action.
- Expanding Early Warning Systems in Small Island Developing States. In support of the President’s Emergency Plan on Adaptation and Resilience (PREPARE), the United States is expanding the ability of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the Pacific to improve forecasting and early warnings for severe weather and climate events by investing in their infrastructure and communication capabilities, as well as training their forecasters by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service.
Support Good Governance and Accountability
The United States has taken meaningful steps to build more resilient democracies, combat corruption, and support open societies in the Indo-Pacific. We continue to invest in democratic institutions, independent media, and civil society. In FY 2022, the United States has dedicated over $245.9 million in foreign assistance to support democracy, human rights, and governance in the Indo-Pacific.
- Summit for Democracy. As part of the Summit for Democracy Year of Action, the United States continues to work with partners to strengthen global democratic renewal. We are coordinating closely with the ROK, who will co-host the second Summit for Democracy on March 29-30, 2023, alongside the Governments of Costa Rica, the Netherlands, and the Republic of Zambia.
- Support for Democracy in Burma. In the two years since the coup in Burma, the United States has provided over $250 million in assistance to support the people of Burma in their struggle for democracy, human rights, and justice. The United States has engaged publicly with pro-democracy leaders at senior levels and expanded programming to strengthen cohesion and unity among the range of stakeholders in Burma to pursue a federal, multiparty democracy in Burma. Additionally, to date we have sanctioned 80 individuals and 32 entities to deprive the military regime of the means to perpetuate its violence and to promote the democratic aspirations of Burma’s people.
- Protecting Human Rights and Democratic Resilience. Since the launch of the Administration’s IPS, the Department of State’s Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor has obligated approximately $51.7 million worth of programming in the Indo-Pacific region, focusing on democratic resilience, youth engagement, civic participation, and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
- Democracy and Human Rights Dialogues. The 26th U.S.-Vietnam Human Rights Dialogue (HRD) was held in November 2022, covering a wide range of human and labor rights-related issues, including freedoms of expression and association; freedom of religion or belief; rule of law and legal reform; and rights of members of marginalized populations, including ethnic minority groups, women and girls, LGBTQI+ persons, and persons with disabilities. We also held the second annual U.S.-ROK Democratic Governance Consultations to coordinate on human rights and democracy promotion efforts at home and abroad. The United States and Japan held the first U.S.-Japan Strategic Dialogue on Democratic Resilience on February 9, 2023 in Tokyo.
- Supporting Marginalized Populations. At the November 2022, ILGA Asia Conference in Vietnam, Special Envoy for the advancement LGBTQI+, Jessica Stern met with civil society activists from China, India, Japan, the ROK, Thailand, Taiwan, and the Philippines to discuss evidence of human rights abuses and requests for U.S. assistance. In September 2022, the United States and ASEAN held the inaugural Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Ministerial to highlight gender mainstreaming efforts in the region, preventing and responding to Gender-Based Violence, Women’s Economic Empowerment, and advancing the Women, Peace and Security agenda.
- South Asia Governance Fund. The United States continues to fund South Asia Governance Fund (SAGF) projects that advance public sector transparency and accountability, strengthen local government institutions, and promote citizen participation to build more inclusive democratic institutions in South Asia. SAGF has created a network of 91 civil society organizations across South Asia with the skills to respond effectively to emerging governance challenges.
Support Open, Resilient, Secure, and Trustworthy Technologies
The United States has worked with partners across the region to promote secure and trustworthy digital infrastructure, improve cybersecurity, and expand support for use of emerging technology to combat disinformation, nuclear proliferation, cybercrime, and other 21st Century challenges.
- Cybersecurity Cooperation. In 2022, the United States and Singapore held the first-ever U.S.-Singapore Cyber Dialogue, and the 6th U.S.-ROK Cyber Dialogue, and the 5th U.S.-India Cyber Dialogue. In 2022, Embassy Hanoi, the Government of Vietnam, and the private sector stood up the first Joint Cyber Working Group in 2022. The United States and Taiwan have established a high-level cybersecurity working group to coordinate on policy, law enforcement, and other cybersecurity issues.
- Cybersecurity Capacity Building. The U.S. Department of State has provided capacity building and technical assistance to Thailand’s National Cybersecurity Agency (NCSA), which includes further support for the National Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), assistance developing a Cyber Incident Response Plan, and support for the National Coordination Center. Through the Digital Connectivity and Cybersecurity Partnership, the United States works closely with the governments of Timor Leste, India, and the Philippines to build and maintain internet infrastructure and strengthen cybersecurity protections.
- Secure and Trusted Internet Connectivity. The United States continues to promote the provision of secure and trusted internet connectivity, including providing $20 million in partnership with Australia and Japan to build a new undersea East Micronesia Cable to connect the Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, and Kiribati.
Official news published at https://www.state.gov/marking-one-year-since-the-release-of-the-administrations-indo-pacific-strategy/
USA - USA DAILY NEWS 24 originally published at USA - USA DAILY NEWS 24