Japan, the US and Australia will fund the construction of a subsea cable connecting the Pacific archipelago islands of Palau, a move against Chinese influence in the region, reported Nikkei Asian Review.
The project is expected to be announced on November 4 at an international forum in Vietnam, with US secretary of state Mike Pompeo and Australia foreign minister Marise Payne present, and Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi announcing financial support through video conferencing.
Construction on the cable will begin next year and cost around $30 million. It will be an offshoot of the main trans-Pacific deep-sea cable currently being built by a consortium of American companies to connect the US with Singapore.
Technology company NEC will be part of the construction and may win a tender for the Palau branch of the build. The Japan Bank for International Cooperation and other government lenders will provide joint financing for the project.
Nikkei Asian Review noted other South Pacific countries leaned towards China and Palau has a military history with the US. Palau president Thomas Remengesau requested the US military to build and use facilities in the archipelago islands, seemingly as a defensive move against China.