US declassifies Indo-Pacific strategic framework

The US administration of President Donald Trump has declassified an internal document outlining its strategy for the Indo-Pacific region.

The document, approved by the administration in February 2018, was made public on Tuesday.

It says the United States aims to prevent China's unfair trading practices and counterbalance the Chinese model of government by promoting initiatives that show the benefits of democracy and liberty.

On the military front, the document says the US will deny China sustained air and sea dominance inside the "first island chain," which extends from the Japanese archipelago to the Philippines.

It also makes clear the US is committed to defending first-island-chain nations and territories, including Taiwan.

On North Korea, the US objective listed in the document is to "Maximize pressure on Pyongyang to convince the Kim regime that the only path to its survival is to relinquish its nuclear weapons."

It calls for considering negotiations "if the North takes steps to reverse its nuclear and missile programs."

National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien said in a statement, "The document is being released to communicate to the American people and to our allies and partners, the enduring commitment of the United States to keeping the Indo-Pacific region free and open long into the future."

Observers say the release of the document days before the new president's inauguration is aimed at encouraging the incoming administration to continue the policies of the Trump administration.