emfizz.com May 26, 2017

Pence in Indonesia With Trade on Agenda

22 April 2017, 01:23 | Patty Hardy

Vice President Mike Pence announced 11 major deals valued at more than US$10 billion between United States and Indonesian companies, mostly in energy and defense.

(AP Photo/Dita Alangkara, Pool).

The Intercept, co-founded by Glenn Greenwald, a journalist known for his stories about the U.S. National Security Agency's mass surveillance, published the coup article by freelance journalist Allan Nairn earlier this week.

Vice President Mike Pence toured Southeast Asia's largest mosque Thursday during a stop in Indonesia, and praised the largest Muslim-majority country's traditionally moderate religious stance as "an inspiration to the world".

"To a large extent the choice of Jakarta was about ASEAN, rather than economic issues or Indonesia as a Muslim country".

The vice president is on a tour across Asia, where he's looking to reinforce a number of US partnerships amid President Trump's rhetoric calling for a shakeup in USA foreign policy and a re-evaluation of global trade agreements.

Pence arrived at the presidential palace in Jakarta for talks with Indonesian President Joko Widodo to a colorful official welcome by hundreds of schoolchildren in regional dress.

Pence, an evangelical Christian, has sought to use his trip to soften some of the harsher edges of rhetoric about the Muslim world used by U.S. President Donald Trump, who has frequently railed against "radical Islamic terrorism". The summits this year take place in Vietnam and the Philippines, where President Rodrigo Duterte has led a violent crackdown on drug dealers.

Though Turnbull may balk at publicly choosing between China and the U.S., Australia and China have been deepening their ties.

"But given that Australia regards itself as America's most reliable ally we wouldn't ordinarily expect that the president of the United States would treat our prime minister with disrespect". He stood up, albeit unsuccessfully, against Beijing's construction of artificial islands that can give it a strong military foothold in the South China Sea. He paved the way for a bigger US military presence in the Philippines, where American bases were shuttered 25 years ago.

Obama also understood the importance of showing up.

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The Vicepresident defended the need of an agreement for both parts that allows USA exporters a full participation in the Indonesian market.

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U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, second from right, prepare to pose for a photo with, from left to right, his daughters Audrey and Charlotte, his wife Karen, the Chairman of Istiqlal Mosque Muhammad Muzammil Basyuni and the Grand Imam of the mosque Nasaruddin Umar during his visit to the largest mosque in Southeast Asia, in Jakarta, Indonesia, Thursday.

Trump got off on the wrong foot. It is the third leg of his four-nation swing through key USA allies and partners in the region.

"Australia and the US have (a) very close business relationship", Moshirian said.

"I think they want to take advantage of this opportunity to talk to the second most important official in the US.to talk about the closeness of the relationship from Canberra's point of view, but also the importance of alliances and the worldwide order", he said.

Senior State Department official Patrick Murphy told reporters Thursday that the USA would continue freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea. A 2013 study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and USAID said U.S. companies were the top investors over the previous eight years, pouring in about $65 billion.

However, billionaire investor Carl Icahn, Freeport's third-biggest shareholder and special adviser to US President Donald Trump, has described Jakarta's tactics over the mining contract as "disingenuous and insulting", according to the New York Times.

At the mosque in Jakarta, Pence and his family also toured the cavernous main prayer room - which was empty during his visit but fills up with tens of thousands of worshippers during key dates in the Muslim calender - and admired the towering dome.

Indonesia is one of 16 countries under review for having a trade surplus with the US.

Pence in Jakarta also echoed Trump's calls for fair trade deals, saying that any economic relationship between the US and Indonesia should create jobs in both countries and result in a "win-win" scenario.

Vietnam, which has courted its former US enemy, wants even better ties.

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