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US moves to stop China in the Pacific

The straw that broke the camel’s back coincided with the signing of a global security treaty between the two countries Solomon Islands and the People’s republic of China. On April 19, when all the lights were on Ukraine, the foreign ministers of China and Solomon Islands, Wang Yi and Jeremiah Manele, respectively, announced that they had signed an agreement. an agreement Security Cooperation Framework. A long paraphrase to refer to a charter that covers a wide range of areas, including social security, protection of private property, and humanitarian aid.

The agreement quickly identified, Beijing and Honiara, was not intended to “harm third parties” and was simply intended to expand cooperation mechanisms already in place in the region. Among other things, the draft document had already been signed by officials of the two countries on the previous March 31. However, no one expected the deal to be completed. Instead there was white smoke there and how, as well as upset reactions United StateAustralia and New Zealand, under which China could use circumstances to its advantage and create one for example Military base in the archipelago.

The Solomon Islands Prime Minister clarified, “We have no intention of engaging in a geopolitical power struggle” and are not prepared to take sides. Mansi SogavaryHe described the international criticism received by the agreement as “offensive.” Well, Washington fears that the agreement with Honiara is only the first in a long line of agreements between China and similar partners, capable of providing the Dragon with multiple advantages in the field of ‘Indian and Pacific Oceans. That is why the United States responded immediately to prevent its strategic rival from expanding its influence in a key area of ​​the future geopolitical balance. How? Laid on the table with a group of islands in the Pacific Ocean, many of which ended up in the Chinese viewfinder, a an agreement The catch that, in Washington’s intentions, should strengthen security relations in Oceania To thwart Beijing’s plans.

tuna policy

The United States’ response to Chinese diplomacy has been dubbed “tuna policyUS Vice President, Kamala Harrisfeatured in the video link to Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) in Suva, the capital of the Fiji Islands, last June 13, as he described to participants Washington’s renewed diplomatic push in the region. The White House was willing to supply these countries 60 million dollars In the year of new aid and fisheries and development measures (hence the reference to tuna). “At a time when we see bad actors trying to undermine the rules-based system, we have to stick with each other,” Harris said. financial timesDelegates understood this as a clear reference to China.

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We remind you that the Treaty on Renewable Tuna Fishing in the Region was originally signed 32 years ago and will expire at the end of this year. She described the agreement as unique in that it allowed the United States to participate in a forum and engage with 14 countries in the region on a multilateral basis. Simi Kuruelavisu, Fiji’s Minister of Fisheries and Head of PIF’s Fisheries Authority, told al financial times Reaching an agreement would allow for negotiation of subsidiary measures on climate change and maritime safety. However, the fact that Harris appeared on the forum was a somewhat provocative gesture. The Pacific Islands Forum had only asked members to attend the conference so that leaders could discuss regional issues including climate change and illegal fishing. Appearance of the right arm of Joe Biden China will certainly not be pleased. Which, for this region, certainly has other plans.

Beijing plan

China has at least three reasons that could explain its interest in the entire ocean region, not to mention the larger region that includes the entire Indo-Pacific. First of all, Beijing aspires to tighten new friends With the aim of pursuing the concept of “a human community with a shared future”, a kind of international society based, according to Dragon, on multiple and win-win relationships between the various members.

Moreover, the People’s Republic must necessarily take more solid roots in geopolitical related areas, or because it is included in a draft new silk road o American bases headquarters. From this point of view, it is necessary for the Chinese to establish or strengthen the physical presence in the key places. As if that were not enough, China is increasing its specific weight Naval forcea goal that can be achieved by strengthening the navy and creating a precise Diplomatic pearl chain It consists of a series of strategic islands.

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Last but not leastBy creating new understandings, China could, at least in theory, increase isolation TaiwanNegatively from the rebellious province of the last of the Allies, which often coincides with the poor countries scattered in the geographical midst of nowhere.

The close relationship with the Solomon Islands, according to the United States, may be the tip of the iceberg, as well as the prototype for other and future agreements with other actors. Specifically, the guardian He released some unconfirmed or confirmed rumors. And the British newspaper wrote that the agreement signed between Beijing and Honiara would contain provisions that would allow Chinese security in the oceanic country, and maritime deployments in the Pacific island nation affected by the crisis. Always according to the alleged draft cited guardianAt the request of the Solomon Islands, the Chinese armed police can be deployed to maintain “social order”.

The fight for the Pacific

Tuna policy, security agreements, investments or loans, it is clear that the United States and China have just started one Diplomatic conflict to seize the Pacific Ocean. The renewed push by the United States to “take over” this region is, in fact, a hallmark of the Biden administration. It is no coincidence that Harris said at the recent Pacific Islands Forum that the islands of the region “may not have received the diplomatic attention and support they deserve” in recent years.

Frank Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Fiji, described the US proposal – which, it must be emphasized, still requires congressional approval – as a “strong commitment”. “Obviously, the United States looks more like the Pacific partner we have always assumed,” he said. Anthony AlbaneseOn the other hand, Australia’s prime minister told Sufa that the US commitment is in line with broader regional attempts to counter China’s growing influence in the region. “The message is very clear. The United States is in the Pacific and has been around for a long time.”

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At the beginning of last June, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was the hero of a tour through most of the Pacific islands. His goal, currently unsuccessful: to conclude a wide range Ad approval and security with 10 countries in the region. The ambitious deal — which will cover a wide range of issues, from cyber security to a China-funded police training academy, to building more Chinese cultural links across the Pacific nations — aims to tie the region together in Beijing. We used the condition because it reconstructs BBCThe agreement was suspended after several countries involved refused to sign, expressing concerns about some aspects of the agreement.

After the black smoke, China published a document claiming that it remains “committed to deepening its strategic partnership” with Pacific countries. The paper listed various proposals that China has pending for the region, including granting Grant For various Pacific Islands initiatives and various forums to keep in touch. China has been watching the Pacific islands for some time, steadily increasing its trade, aid, diplomatic and commercial activities since 2006. Suffice it to say that between 2006 and 2017, Beijing provided roughly $1.5 billion From foreign aid to the region, through a combination of grants and loans.

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Earl Warner

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