[ti:US Announces Effort to Compete against China’s “Belt and Road” Program]
[00:00.04]The U.S. Secretary of Commerce announced this week that the United States
[00:06.04]plans to invest and trade more in Asia.
[00:12.56]Secretary Wilbur Ross spoke about American efforts to support "sustainable" projects in Asia
[00:21.84]as a way to answer China's "Belt and Road" infrastructure program.
[00:29.60]Ross and U.S. President Donald Trump's national security adviser, Robert O'Brien,
[00:36.84]were in Thailand for a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN.
[00:45.66]Like O'Brien, Ross tried to overcome suspicions that the Trump administration is uninterested in Asia.
[00:56.29]The president sent his adviser to the ASEAN summit,
[01:01.08]but he himself did not attend for the second time in two years.
[01:08.56]"We have no intention of vacating our military or geopolitical position," Ross told reporters.
[01:18.02]He added that many people had misunderstood Trump's 2017 decision
[01:25.58]to pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.
[01:32.00]"We are here permanently, and we will be continuing to invest more here,
[01:39.20]and we will be continuing to have more bilateral trade," Ross said.
[01:47.12]To demonstrate that desire, U.S. officials launched the Trump administration's
[01:53.33]"Blue Dot Network" on Monday at a conference of business leaders.
[01:59.07]More than 200 American business leaders attended the meeting.
[02:05.96]The plan's name comes from a picture of Earth taken by the Voyager 1 spacecraft.
[02:13.28]The name is also the name of a book written by American scientist Carl Sagan.
[02:21.88]Ross said the Blue Dot Network will include countries that want "sustainable infrastructure development."
[02:30.56]Earlier, O'Brien compared the network to a "Michelin Guide" for rating investment projects
[02:38.56]in infrastructure, such as roads, ports and energy systems.
[02:46.08]It is unclear what kind of investments would come from the Blue Dot Network plan.
[02:53.36]The U.S. government described it as an alliance of governments, companies
[02:59.62]and civil society that would operate under "shared standards."
[03:05.80]During the meetings in Bangkok, Japan and the United States signed an agreement
[03:13.09]to work together on $10 billion in Japanese investment in liquefied natural gas projects.
[03:23.24]Other plans include an agreement to work with the Asian Development Bank
[03:29.40]in getting up to $7 billion in financing for other Asian energy projects.
[03:37.32]O'Brien said the plan would help countries avoid paying for projects
[03:43.47]that forced them to take on too much debt and were not "high quality."
[03:50.40]O'Brien was speaking about China's "Belt and Road" infrastructure projects.
[03:57.05]U.S. officials have said the Chinese-supported projects
[04:02.04]hurt the financial systems of the countries involved by tying them to large debts.
[04:10.84]Ross talked about U.S. trade and investment in East Asia and the Pacific, saying of Australia,
[04:19.98]"We'd be (happy) to sell more military aircraft if that suits your department of defense."
[04:27.84]On Tuesday, China opened a large conference on imports in Shanghai to demonstrate its desire to do business.
[04:37.64]President Xi Jinping promised to open Chinese markets even more.
[04:43.92]He drank wine with French President Emmanuel Macron,
[04:48.36]who urged Chinese and U.S. officials to end their trade war.
[04:55.44]Xi said that China was willing to increase talks on several free trade deals and investment agreements.
[05:03.87]He also said China was "happy" to enter into high-standard free trade agreements with more countries."
[05:14.60]And, he promised to improve conditions for foreign investment.
[05:21.64]I'm Dorothy Gundy. 更多聽力請訪問51VOA.COM