World Bulletin / News Desk
U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday pledged to promote a truly free and open Indo-Pacific region where nations are strong, independent and prosperous.
Trump made the statement before leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) during the 5th ASEAN-US Summit which is part of the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings held in the Philippine capital Manila.
“I'm here to advance peace, to promote security and to work with you to achieve a truly free and open Indo-Pacific where we are proud, and we have sovereign nations, and we thrive, and everybody wants to prosper,” he was quoted by GMA News as saying in his opening remarks.
Trump boasted that under his administration, America is “moving ahead really brilliantly" and its gains would benefit the Indo-Pacific region.
“We have the highest stock market we've ever had. We have the lowest unemployment rate in 17 years. The value of stocks has risen to $5.5 trillion and companies are moving into the United States. A lot of companies are moving; they want to be there," said Trump.
“We’re very happy about that, and we think that bodes very well for your region because of the relationship that we have. We want our partners in the region to be strong, independent and prosperous, in control of their own destinies and satellites to no one,” he added.
As 2017 marks the 40th anniversary of the foundation of US-ASEAN cooperation, Trump commended the continuous partnership with the regional bloc.
“This diplomatic partnership advances the security and prosperity of the American people and the people of all Indo-Pacific nations,” he said.
The leaders of ASEAN member-states Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam along with dialogue partners Australia, Canada, China, the European Council, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea, the United States and the United Nations are currently in Manila to attend the ASEAN Summit.
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