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Wednesday, July 20, 2016, 12:03

Asia pivot stays regardless of US poll outcome: Biden

By Reuters

Asia pivot stays regardless of US poll outcome: Biden
US Vice- President Joe Biden delivers a major policy speech at the Paddington Town Hall in Sydney, Australia, July 20, 2016. Biden is in Australia as part of a tour of the Pacific. (AP Photo / Rob Griffith)
SYDNEY - United States Vice-President Joe Biden on Wednesday assured key ally Australia there would be no retreat from Washington's pivot to the Asia-Pacific region regardless of who wins November's presidential election.

Biden dismissed concerns that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump would abandon President Barack Obama's strategy for the Asia-Pacific if he were to defeat Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

"Don't worry about our election. The better angels in America will prevail," Biden said in a speech in Sydney.

"The United States is all in. We've made good on that promise and continue to make good on that promise. We have shown our commitment to lead the region over and over again."

More than US$5 trillion in trade passes every year through the South China Sea.

Neither Trump nor Clinton have been vocal supporters of Obama's Asia-Pacific pivot in their campaigning, leading some to question Washington's support for the strategy.

Biden insisted that the US military would continue to underpin freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, regardless of which party controls the White House from 2017.

"The United States has kept and will keep a laser focus on the future in the Asia-Pacific," he said.

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