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While Australia continues with its Pacific Step Up, the United States is ramping up its presence in the region with its Pacific pledge.
The US State Department's Deputy Director for the Office of Australia, New Zealand, and Pacific Affairs, Jennifer Spande, characterises the pledge as Washington's way to step up its partnership efforts in the region.
However, Spande concedes that Chinese activity in the Pacific is certainly on American minds, but she says the pledge is underpinned by tens of millions of dollars in extra funding. And while that money will be spent in a variety of ways, she says one of the big ticket items is the promotion of "sound, just and responsive" government.
“We want to help empower citizens and help them combat corruption and help strengthen the autonomy of national governments."
“We're also working to help train local journalists and provide better access to credible news sources,” Spande added.
Pacific Islands News Association
Who & What is PINA?
International News Safety Institute (INSI)
Media Helping Media