U. S. Ambassador Julie J. Chung said her country recognizes that much of the planet’s future will be written in the Indo-Pacific and Sri Lanka is at the heart of the Indo Pacific to play a leading role.
She said the U.S. will continue to have an enduring commitment to the region and collaboration with its allies and partners to help achieve a free and open, interconnected, prosperous, resilient and secure region for all. She made these remarks while participating in the Pathfinder Foundation Phase II of the Indian Ocean Security Conference.
“I think we all know that the Indian Ocean is a vital lifeline for the world’s trade due to the sea lanes – passing within 10 miles of Sri Lanka – carrying half of the world’s container ships, a third of the world’s bulk cargo traffic, and two-thirds of the world’s oil shipments. As such, security of the Indian Ocean is a key linchpin for the overall Indo-Pacific, which is the fastest growing region on the planet, accounting for 60 per cent of the world economy and two-thirds of all economic growth over the last five years. And Sri Lanka is a key part of that linchpin and should take pride and leadership,” she said.
She said, “the United States is a proud Indo-Pacific nation and our vision for the region, as laid out in the recently released Indo-Pacific Strategy, is centred on five core elements. When I say the Indo-Pacific Strategy is “our” vision for the region, I do not mean it is just a vision of the United States. Rather, I mean to suggest that-whether we realize it or not – this is actually a shared vision”. (Kelum Bandara)