From the Document: "Papua New Guinea (PNG) lies in a region of the Southwest Pacific known as Melanesia. It is the most populous Pacific Island nation, with about 9 million residents belonging to hundreds of tribes speaking over 800 local languages and dialects. A central highland zone has peaks that reach 14,793 feet. It gained independence from an Australian-administered U.N. trusteeship in 1975. PNG shares a land border with Indonesia and is a member of the Pacific Islands Forum and the Melanesian Spearhead Group. Papua New Guinea has been strategically important to the United States in the past. An estimated 7,000 American soldiers and airmen died in the New Guinea campaign, and the nearby Battle of the Coral Sea was a key turning point in WWII. The United States has played a relatively minor economic and security role in PNG, although it has some important stated interests, including U.S. investment in natural gas production. China's expanding influence in PNG and the region is now driving increasing engagement by the United States with PNG, including in coordination with Australia and other partners."
CRS In Focus, IF11255
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/