U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn’s (R-Tenn.) bipartisan legislation with Senators Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) is now law. The Pacific Islands Embassies Act was included as an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act.
This legislation, aimed at countering the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) through increased American diplomacy in the Pacific, establishes physical U.S. Embassies on the Pacific Island nations of the Solomon Islands, Kiribati, and Tonga, and authorizes expanded physical presence on Vanuatu to reinforce American leadership in the Pacific region.
U.S. Congressmen Andy Barr (R-Ky.) and Ed Case (D-Hawaii) introduced the Pacific Islands Embassies Act in the House of Representatives.
During her visit to several Pacific Island nations earlier this year, Senator Blackburn spoke with leaders and citizens about the importance of expanding the United States’ diplomatic footprint in the area.
“As Communist China sets its sights on the Indo-Pacific, it is vitally important the United States strengthen our strategic partnerships and counter the CCP’s growing influence in the region. This measure to establish additional U.S. diplomatic presence in the Pacific Islands is a key component to deepening our shared values of freedom and democracy and ensuring the continued security of the U.S. and our partners,” said Senator Blackburn.
“Strong U.S. diplomacy in the Pacific is essential. We brought Democrats and Republicans together to establish a robust physical diplomatic presence in these strategic island nations,” said Senator Ossoff.
“The Indo-Pacific is a region of active competition with China, and our Pacific Island partners are especially vulnerable to Chinese coercion. This legislation will strengthen our diplomatic presence in the region and signal our resolve to our partners and allies,” said Senator Young.
“Expanding America’s diplomatic footprint in Asia is a simple but powerful way we can reaffirm our longstanding bilateral partnerships in the Pacific. Strengthening our relationships in the Pacific will help counter the CCP’s predatory Belt and Road Initiative and show that the U.S. remains a partner of choice. I thank all of my colleagues who supported this legislation,” said Congressman Barr.
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