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Japan, Australia join US in Indo-Pacific infrastructure projects

SYDNEY (Kyodo) -- Japan, the United States and Australia have formed a partnership to invest in infrastructure projects in the Indo-Pacific region, the Australian government said Tuesday.

The U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corp., the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade released a statement saying that through the partnership, the three countries intend to "mobilize investment in projects that drive economic growth, create opportunities, and foster a free, open, inclusive and prosperous Indo-Pacific."

The trilateral partnership comes as China expands its presence in the region through its large-scale infrastructure investment program called the Belt and Road Initiative.

"We share the belief that good investments stem from transparency, open competition, sustainability, adhering to robust global standards, employing the local workforce, and avoiding unsustainable debt burdens," the statement read.

Areas of investment will include energy, transportation, tourism and technology.

Overnight, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced $113 million in new U.S. investments in technology, energy and infrastructure for the Indo-Pacific region in a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Pompeo said the United States "will never seek domination in the Indo-Pacific," and that "we will oppose any country that does."

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