Pacific nations reject draft regional security pact with China

Ten Pacific island nations on Monday rejected a sweeping China-proposed deal on regional security and economic development, fearing it would drag them into the Beijing fold.

A virtual summit on greater diplomatic, economic and political cooperation between Beijing and countries in the region appears to have failed, with some leaders expressing deep concern. “As usual, we preferred unanimity“And he’ll have to get to him to sign everything.”New regional agreementAt the end of this meeting, co-organizer and Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama announced.

big developing country»

Wang Yi is located in Suva, the capital of Fiji, as part of a ten-day tour of the region, as Beijing and Washington vie for influence in this strategic region. Before his arrival, Beijing proposed an agreement on how China intends to train its police and help them with cybersecurity, but also implement maps of the sensitive seabed and have better access to its marine and land resources. Beijing costs millions of dollars in financial aid, the possibility of a free trade agreement with the islands of China and the Pacific and access to the vast Chinese market.

China presents itself asbig developing countryWhich stands by the small and medium-sized countries. Before the opening of this summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message saying that his country will be “nice brotherthe region and they participated incommon destiny‘, according to CCTV. In a message to other leaders in the region, Federated States of Micronesia President David Panuelo calleddeceptive“This proposed agreement aims to”Ensuring Chinese influence on government“and the”economic control» main sectors.

A common vision of development

At the end of the meeting the leaders made more moderate statements and declared that they did not acceptcommon development visionProposed by Beijing due to lack of regional consensus. “As usual, we preferred unanimityFrank Bainimarama, co-organizer of the summit, said after the meeting. Papua New Guinea, Samoa and the Federated States of Micronesia are among the countries concerned about these proposals, as is Palau, which diplomatically recognizes Taiwan and has not been invited to this meeting. “We prefer to deal with our own security issues with ChinaPapua New Guinea’s foreign minister, Surui Iwe, told AFP he was concerned about a regional agreement.

Chinese officials, who tried to gain support for the agreement during Minister Wang Yi’s 10-day diplomatic offensive in the region, admitted failure. “There was public support from all ten countriesChinese Ambassador to Fiji Qianbo said from Suva. “But of course there are some concerns about some specific issues and we agreed that these documents (…) will be discussed further until we reach an agreement.“.

“China will announce its own position”

After the meeting, which was held behind closed doors on Monday, Wang Yi did not mention the proposed document. However, he pointed out that both partiesWe will continue to have continuous and in-depth discussions and consultations in order to build a broader consensus on cooperation“.”China will announce its own position“, which you will conjure up”Our positions and pics‘, according to him.

However, Wang Yi announced that the ten island nations had reached memoranda of understanding on the New Silk Road, and called for not to worry about Beijing’s designs. Many Western countries are alarmed by Beijing’s attack, as the US State Department has warned Pacific nations against it.”The ropes are opaque and mysterious with China. Australia has joined the United States in urging China to stop expanding its security influence in the region. Pacific countries remain interested in maintaining good relations with China and finding the right balance between Beijing and Washington or even using them to play against each other.

Standing alongside the Chinese minister, the Fijian prime minister criticized those who engage in “The race to score geopolitical points“.”It means nothing to anyone who is threatened by rising waters, who has lost their job due to the pandemic, or whose family has been affected by the high prices of basic necessities.Most of the Pacific islands are low lying, which makes them particularly vulnerable to sea level rise due to climate change.

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