Top Asian News 3:54 a.m. GMT

US to sign new security pact with Papua New Guinea amid competition with China

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (AP) — The United States is scheduled to sign a new security pact with Papua New Guinea on Monday as it competes with China for influence in the Pacific. Papua New Guinea's location just north of Australia makes it strategically significant. It was the site of fierce battles during World War II, and with a population of nearly 10 million people, it's the most populous Pacific island nation. The State Department said the new agreement would provide a framework to help improve security cooperation, enhance the capacity of Papua New Guinea's defense force and increase regional stability.