Trump, Turnbull for ways to expand ties with India, Japan
Washington: US President Donald Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Saturday reiterated their commitment to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific and affirmed the importance of expanding quadrilateral co-operation with India and Japan.
Following their meeting, the White House said Trump and Turnbull "discussed ways to deepen trilateral cooperation with Japan and affirmed the importance of expanding cooperation between Australia, the US, Japan, and India."
Expressing serious concerns about the situation in the South China Sea, they called upon parties to exercise restraint and resolve disputes peacefully based on international law.
Trump thanked Turnbull for his continued support for the US' program of Freedom of Navigation Operations.
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Australia to advance United States-Australia support for high-quality infrastructure investment in the Indo-Pacific region and encourage reforms to improve regulations, transparency, and local capital markets.
This is probably aimed at the One Belt One Road initiative of China, which has created a sense of anxiety among various countries in the region.
The joint statement, however did not mention the Chinese initiative in this regard, which the US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, has called as predatory economics.
According to the joint statement, the two countries intend to launch the United States-Australia Strategic Partnership on Energy in the Indo-Pacific region to promote energy infrastructure, low emissions technologies, and global gas markets. Affirming their support for global health security to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease outbreaks, the two countries also agreed to intensify cooperation to support the growth of digital trade between them, ensure an open, free and secure Internet, and advocate the liberalisation and facilitation of global digital trade.