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International relations

Indo-Pacific initiatives gain currency despite gaps over China

Key players Japan and Australia grapple with response to Belt and Road

China's Belt and Road infrastructure initiative to create a new Silk Road has triggered concern among other key countries in the Asia-Pacific region.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Fostering economic cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region is gaining traction as a diplomatic strategy among major countries, with the U.S. proposing an infrastructure fund and Australia announcing a separate three-way initiative.

Yet not all countries view the policy as a counterweight to China's Belt and Road initiative. Even Japan, whose prime minister first proposed the "Free and Open Indo-Pacific" plan in 2016 as a response to China's regional advances, is taking a more nuanced approach.

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