The new American Ambassador to Australia, Caroline Kennedy, has landed. At a press conference, she stressed the importance of US engagement in the Indo-Pacific region to counter China’s growing presence there.
Kennedy spoke to reporters shortly after leaving her plane in Sydney on Friday morning.
She said: “The US-Australia partnership is really my focus and the work that we do together in the region, security, economic engagement, climate change, health, safety, all those things. So I I think China certainly has a big presence here in the region, but I think our partnership is what I’m going to focus on.”
She also spoke about the importance of the Solomon Islands in the region and the urgent need for the United States to do more.
To that end, the United States is on track to reopen its embassy in the capital Honiara, which closed in 1993.
Last week, when US Vice President Kamala Harris addressed a key meeting of leaders of Pacific island nations virtually, she announced plans to open embassies in Kiribati and Tonga.
The new ambassador is expected to play a key role in maintaining US relations in the Indo-Pacific, with a focus on the QUAD alliance of the US, Australia, Japan and India.
Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of former US President John F. Kennedy, previously served as Ambassador to Japan for over 3 years until 2017.