US Signs Security Pact With Papua New Guinea
United States inked a new security agreement with Papua New Guinea on Monday even as it battles with China for sway in the Pacific.
Papua New Guinea is crucial strategically because of its location, just north of Australia. It is the most populated Pacific Island nation and was the scene of severe combat during World War II. Its population is close to 10 million.
According to the State Department, the new agreement offers a framework to aid in enhancing security cooperation, Papua New Guinea’s defence force’s capability, and promoting regional stability.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters, “The work we’re doing together to try to shape the future could not be more important, could not be more timely.”
The agreement, according to Papua New Guinea’s prime minister James Marape, “secures our national interests” and is mutually beneficial.
However, the accord provoked student demonstrations in Lae, the second-largest city. And the growing militarization of the Pacific is causing anxiety among many people.