Harris says U.S. has 'commitment' to Pacific

STORY: "We recognise that in recent years, the Pacific Islands may not have received the diplomatic attention and support that you deserve. So today I am here to tell you directly, we are going to change that," said Harris.

She said U.S. funding for Pacific islands would be tripled to $60 million a year for a decade, subject to approval by Congress, and announced plans to establish two new embassies in the region.

Pacific island leaders also welcomed a pledge by the United States to triple aid to the region to combat illegal fishing, enhance maritime security and tackle climate change, after decades of stagnant U.S. funding.

Some Pacific leaders are seeking to balance China's ambitions for trade and security ties in the region.

Harris called for nations to stand united as "bad actors" seek to undermine the international rules-based order, without naming them.

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