The US Secretary of State warns that Pacific leaders’ concealment of China is “coercion” |


The U.S. Secretary of State warned leaders of Pacific nations that they “posed a threat to the rules-based international order” and “economic coercion”, which seemed to be a covert attack on China’s growing influence in the region.

As part of the Pacific Island Leaders’ Meeting in Hawaii, Anthony Brinken is presenting information to 11 Pacific countries including Fiji, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, French Polynesia, Palau and Marshall Islands. Speeches with regional leaders and their representatives.

Brinken reiterated US support for Pacific island countries because they face “common challenges that we must tackle together”, including Covid-19 and the climate crisis.He also seems to have made one Criticize Australia’s response to the climate crisis, Calling on “all countries, especially the largest emitters, to reduce emissions quickly and drastically.”

But the main focus of his televised speech was China’s growing influence in the region.

“The economic coercion in the entire region is rising. The United States fully supports more development and investment on these islands, but such investment should comply with international standards for environmental and social sustainability and should be transparent in the context of public consultation. Proceed,” he said. “And every country, big or small, should always be able to make a choice without fear of retaliation.”

Jonathan Pryke, director of the Pacific Islands Program at the Lowy Institute of Australia, said Brinken’s vision in the speech was “obvious.”

“In the past few decades, there has been only one country that has participated heavily in the Pacific region, not part of the traditional club, and that is China,” he said. “When he talks about economic coercion, the people he talks about are very secretive.”

In the past few decades, China has deepened its ties with governments across the Pacific Ocean. Soft power push Think it can be comparable to Australia’s influence.

China provides large amounts of loans to Pacific countries and pays for large-scale infrastructure projects. A 2018 report found that Papua New Guinea is the largest country on the Pacific islands, with a population of approximately 9 million Accept unaffordable Chinese loansAnd in 2019, Papua New Guinea asks China to refinance all of its government debtAccording to Pacific analysts, this request marked a “major change” in regional politics.

Praker said: “It is completely legal for China to do business in the Pacific region, and there are reasonable concerns about China’s way of doing business in the Pacific region.” “I do think we underestimate the initiative of the Pacific countries and their ability to make decisions… …The Pacific islands already know something about China.”

Praker also said that the United States warned the Pacific countries to be “a little rich” About China’s influence Given that the country has almost no diplomatic presence in many Pacific countries.

“Their footprint is really small. It’s one thing to say,’Be careful, we need to stop this vicious influence in your country’, but what are the alternatives you offer?”

Brinken’s speech was part of the Pacific Island Leaders’ Meeting, attended by leaders or representatives from 11 countries or regions, but included a large number of countries including Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Tuvalu and Samoa ‘S representatives did not attend.

In contrast, last week, China held a virtual China-Pacific island country discussion. Senior representatives from most governments including Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu, and the Federal President attended the meeting. . The Prime Minister of Niue and the Minister of Defence of Fiji Micronesia.

In his speech, Brinken also affirmed the United States’ commitment to take action to deal with the climate crisis. He said that the climate crisis constituted an “existent threat to the islands.”

“Countries must make and break ambitious commitments. The United States is leading by example in this regard. Biden has set a goal of reducing emissions by at least half by 2030,” Brinken said.

Dr. Wesley Morgan, a researcher at the Griffith Institute for Asia, said that it is “perfectly possible” that Brinken would think of Canberra when making these comments.

“They are also paying attention to Australia and want to see action against the climate,” he said.

“For decades, the Pacific region has been hoping Australia will take strong action on climate change. Now they have seen an ally in the White House and an ally in Downing Street. The Pacific was once seen as an “outsider calling for a cessation of the use of coal.” “But now Australia is far away…The Pacific now has all these global allies, and Australia is very isolated in terms of climate.”


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