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International relations

Pence rejects 'empire and aggression' in Indo-Pacific

Singapore's Lee fears having to choose between US and China

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a news conference in Singapore on Nov. 15.    © Reuters

SINGAPORE -- U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday used particularly harsh language to censure China's expansive reach in Asia during a meeting with regional leaders in Singapore as part of a trip aimed at strengthening America's commitment to the Indo-Pacific area.

"We seek an Indo-Pacific in which all nations, large and small, can prosper and thrive -- secure in sovereignty, confident in our values, and growing stronger together," Pence said on Thursday morning at the summit between the 10 nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the U.S. "We all agree that empire and aggression have no place in the Indo-Pacific."

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