President Biden announced on September 26, 2023, that the United States is establishing new diplomatic ties with two Pacific Island nations: Palau and the Marshall Islands. The move is seen as an effort by the United States to counter China’s growing influence in the region.
“The United States is committed to a free and open Indo-Pacific region,” Biden said in a statement. “Establishing diplomatic relations with Palau and the Marshall Islands will strengthen our partnerships with these two important nations and advance our shared interests in the region.”
Palau and the Marshall Islands are both located in the western Pacific Ocean, near China. The two nations are small and have limited resources, but they are strategically important because of their location near key shipping lanes.
China has been increasing its military and economic presence in the Pacific region in recent years. The United States has been concerned about this expansion, and the Biden administration has made it a priority to strengthen ties with Pacific Island nations.
The establishment of diplomatic ties with Palau and the Marshall Islands is a significant step in this effort. It will allow the United States to work more closely with these two nations on issues of common interest, such as security, climate change, and economic development.
The move was welcomed by leaders of Palau and the Marshall Islands.
“We are grateful to President Biden for his commitment to Palau and the Marshall Islands,” said Palau President Surangel Whipps Jr. “This is a historic day for our two nations, and we look forward to working with the United States to build a stronger partnership.”
“We are excited to establish diplomatic relations with the United States,” said Marshall Islands President David Kabua. “This is a new chapter in our relationship, and we look forward to working together to promote peace and prosperity in the Pacific region.”