„We all agree that imperial behavior and aggression have no place in the Indo-Pacific,“ said US Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday in Singapore talking to the leaders of the Southeast Asian community of Asean.
The US, in turn, „seeks cooperation, not control,“ Pence assured. He also advocated „free, fair and reciprocal trade“.
His remarks were understood as an indication of China’s growing influence in the region and its controversial claims in the South China Sea.
Pence also sought to dispel irritation over the absence of US President Donald Trump at the Asean meeting and the subsequent Asia-Pacific Summit (Apec) on Saturday and Sunday in Papua New Guinea. „US engagement in the Indo-Pacific is unshakable and consistent.“