U.S. Vice President Mike Pence listens to Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, not seen, in Singapore, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018. Pence is Singapore to attend the 33rd ASEAN summit. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue, Pool)

Pence says US committed to Indo-Pacific, not seeking control

November 14, 2018 - 9:08 pm

SINGAPORE (AP) — U.S. Vice President Mike Pence says America has a steadfast and enduring commitment to the Indo-Pacific region but wants cooperation, not control.

Pence, who is standing in for President Donald Trump, told a summit of Southeast Asian leaders Thursday in Singapore that "empire and aggression have no place" in the region. The comment appeared to allude to growing Chinese sway in the region and its vast claims in the South China Sea.

Pence said, "Like you, we seek an Indo-Pacific in which all nations, large and small, can prosper and thrive - secure in our sovereignty, confident in our values, and growing stronger together."

The meetings of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Nations focus on enhanced trade and security in a region of more than 630 million people.

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