US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has pledged close to $300 million in additional security funding for Southeast Asia, seeking to bolster the region against Chinese attempts to strengthen its interests in the area.
Mr Pompeo announced the funding during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting in Singapore.
“As part of our commitment to advancing regional security in the Indo-Pacific, the United States is excited to announce nearly $300 million in new funding to reinforce security cooperation throughout the entire region,” he said.
He said the funding will be used to strengthen maritime security, develop humanitarian assistance and counter “transnational threats”.
The US also announced $113 million funding to invest in technology, energy and infrastructure initiatives, which Mr Pompeo described as “a downpayment on a new era of US economic commitment to the region”.
The US investment into the Southeast Asian region is part of a plan to counter China’s attempts to establish dominance in Southeast Asia through its Belt and Road plan.