China’s push in South PacificDate: 30 May 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will be visiting South pacific islands in an effort to expand Beijing’s footprints in the region.
China is aggressively trying to grow its diplomatic and military presence in the region where US has been the traditional superpower.
China’s efforts have been particularly focused on Solomon Islands. This has also worried Australia, the major stake-holder of the region.
Trip of the Chinese FM
The trip will be for duration of 10 days, spanning countries of Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga, East Timor and Papua New Guinea.
China has been embroiled in a sovereignty dispute with Taiwan. It does not want to leave any stone unturned in order to get back Taiwan.
To ensure that Taiwan loses its recognition, it will have to turn diplomatic allies of Taiwan, four of whom belong to South Pacific.
Better ties with South Pacific nations will enable Chinese naval ships to make port calls and also deploy their military personnel.
Chinese geo-political strategy
South Pacific is critical for President Xi Jinping’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative. The project aims to link East Asia with Europe through ports, railway and other infrastructure.
Opportunity in South Pacific
Developing countries such as Sri Lanka and Pakistan, China’s biggest clients for project development, are collapsing.
Developed countries such as US, Canada, Australia and other European powers have been vary of Chinese growth and have banned Chinese companies.
South Pacific is free for Chinese approach. Low cost and high reward makes south pacific a new opportunity for growth.
Plans for the region
China wants south pacific countries to enter into a pact that will cover law enforcement, fisheries, digital cooperation, infrastructure creation and also cultural ties.