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The United States, Australia and Japan have said they will jointly fund the construction of an undersea cable to boost internet access in three tiny Pacific countries, as the Western allies seek to counter rising Chinese influence in the region.

In December 2021, the three Western allies said they would develop the cable to provide faster internet to Nauru, Kiribati, and the Federated States of Micronesia. “This will support increased economic growth, drive development opportunities, and help to improve living standards as the region recovers from the severe impacts of COVID-19,” a joint statement from the US, Japan and Australia said.

The three allies did not specify how much the project will cost. The development of the undersea cable is the latest funding commitment from the Western allies in the telecommunications sector of the Pacific.

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US, Australia, Japan to fund undersea cable in Pacific