Deputy Secretary Sherman says US ‘doubling down’ on Pacific
By NICK PERRY
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — The United States is doubling down on its investment in the Pacific. That’s what U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said as she concluded a five-nation visit to the region in New Zealand. Critics have accused the U.S. of neglecting the region and allowing China’s influence to flourish. Sherman said the U.S. has always been a Pacific nation. She said it has been a priority of President Joe Biden to rebuild alliances and relationships around the world, and the administration is using “every vehicle possible” to collaborate with its Pacific partners. The Solomon Islands in April signed a security pact with China in a move that has alarmed many in the Pacific who fear it could lead to a military buildup.