US wants to work with China to help Pacific isles

AP News
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Posted: Sep 07, 2011 7:18 PM
US wants to work with China to help Pacific isles

The U.S. plans to increase development aid and coordinate with strategic rival China and other foreign donors to assist impoverished Pacific island nations.

The top diplomat for East Asia and the Pacific, Kurt Campbell, said despite enduring U.S. strategic and political interests in the region dating back to before World War II, Washington has reduced diplomatic missions there and assistance over the past 20 years.

As part of efforts to reverse that trend, the U.S. Agency for International Development office will open a regional office in Papua New Guinea this year to administer a $21 million grant to assist islands coping with the effects of climate change.

Campbell is part of a U.S. delegation that departs Wednesday for a meeting of Pacific leaders in New Zealand.