UNITED STATES NEWS

US will resume Peace Corps program in Palau as it moves to counter Chinese influence in Indo-Pacific

Feb 2, 2024, 7:00 AM

FILE - This June 20, 2009, file photo shows the Palau Capital building,in Melekeok, Palau. The Unit...

FILE - This June 20, 2009, file photo shows the Palau Capital building,in Melekeok, Palau. The United States will resume a long-suspended Peace Corps program in the North Pacific island of Palau as the Biden administration continues moves to counter growing Chinese influence in the region. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States will resume a long-suspended Peace Corps program in the North Pacific island of Palau as the Biden administration continues moves to counter growing Chinese influence in the region.

The Peace Corps said Friday that it would start sending volunteers back to the island in 2025 following an agreement reached between the agency’s director and Palau’s president, whose country is one of the few in the world to have diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

“Volunteers will live and work side-by-side with community partners to improve childhood literacy and math and science skills, along with teaching English as a foreign language,” Peace Corps director Carol Spahn said in a statement.

Palau’s resident, Surangel Whipps, said the return of the Peace Corps reflects the strong relationship between his nation and the United States. He said prior Peace Corps members had become “an integral part of our national family,” and he extended his gratitude to them and to a program he said “has enriched our country in countless ways.”

“To those Peace Corps members preparing to come and contribute to Palau,” Whipps said, “welcome home.”

The Peace Corps programs in Palau and in the Federated States of Micronesia began in 1966 but were shut down in 2014 after more than 4,400 volunteers had served there.

Since then, as China has made successful inroads in the Pacific, successive U.S. administrations have sought to improve relations with the island nations, including by opening or reopening several embassies and renegotiating cooperation agreements known as compacts of free association last year with Palau, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands.

Palau is among the 12 countries that still recognize Taiwan’s statehood and do not have diplomatic relations with Beijing, which considers Taiwan to be part of Chinese territory. The U.S. has encouraged these countries to maintain formal ties with the self-governed island.

Peace Corps officials said they hope that with congressional funding the Palau reopening will be the first of several new programs it will restart in the Pacific.

The Peace Corps, a creation of the John F. Kennedy administration, currently has Pacific island programs in Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu.

___

Associated Press writer Didi Tang contributed to this report.

United States News

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump hugs and kisses the American flag a...

Associated Press

Trump calls himself a ‘proud political dissident’ in CPAC speech

In a CPAC speech, Trump painted an apocalyptic vision of the future if President Joe Biden wins again as the two prepare for a rematch.

7 minutes ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump gestures to the audience after spea...

Associated Press

Donald Trump wins South Carolina GOP primary, beating Nikki Haley in her home state

Trump has now swept every contest that counted for Republican delegates, with wins already in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.

58 minutes ago

Associated Press

Why AP called South Carolina for Trump: Race call explained

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Associated Press declared Donald Trump the winner of the South Carolina primary as soon as polls closed on Saturday. The race call was based on a comprehensive survey of South Carolina Republican primary voters that showed him defeating Nikki Haley by wide margins in her home state. Declaring a winner as […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Former NFL player Richard Sherman arrested on suspicion of DUI, authorities in Washington state say

SEATTLE (AP) — Former NFL player Richard Sherman was arrested early Saturday on suspicion of driving under the influence, according to the Washington State Patrol. No other details about the arrest were immediately available, said Trooper Rick Johnson, a patrol spokesperson. A spokesperson for the King County Prosecutor’s Office said nothing had been sent to […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Lithium ion battery caused fatal fire in New York City apartment building, officials say

NEW YORK (AP) — A lithium ion battery sparked a fire that killed one person and injured 17 others at a New York City apartment building, fire officials said Saturday. Friday’s two-alarm fire began just after 2 p.m. on the third floor of a six-story building in Harlem. New York Police Department video shows firefighters […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Federal prosecutors accuse a New Mexico woman of fraud in oil and gas royalty case

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico businesswoman is accused of defrauding the U.S. government and two Native American tribes of taxes and royalties due to them for oil and gas that her companies extracted from leased federal and tribal lands. Federal prosecutors announced this week that Teresa McCown recently was indicted by a grand […]

3 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

US will resume Peace Corps program in Palau as it moves to counter Chinese influence in Indo-Pacific