Nevertheless, Pompeo's announcement, which precedes his trip to Southeast Asia, has political clout in a region dominated by Chinese money.
It signals "that smaller countries attracted by China's economic reach can rely on the United States." The analysts of the news service Statfor said in a note.
"At this stage, it is difficult to see this US initiative as an alternative to China's belt and road, although this certainly will provide more opportunities for countries in the region." Echo Chengxin Pan, Lecturer at Australian Deakin University
A year and a half ago, Washington's commitment to Asia was challenged by Trump's exit from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement. Since then, doubts have only increased, especially after Trump's decision to lower tariffs for Asian allies.
According to Brett McGonegal, chairman and chief executive officer of financial services firm Capital Link International, Monday's news is focused on these concerns. It is Washington's way of saying that "it has not really lost the Asia-Pacific" and that American leaders "are not leaving the region," he said.
However, the US could act even more convincingly.
Despite Pompeo's positive speech, "few of his colleagues believe he is channeling Trump's own views, which are utterly unorthodox," warned Daniel Russel, vice president of international security and diplomacy at the Asia Society Policy Institute.