China Releases Paper Clarifying Goals of New Pacific Regional Pact Amid US Fear-Mongering

© Photo : Frank Bainimarama / China-Pacific Nations Meeting in FijiChina-Pacific Island Countries Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Fiji
China-Pacific Island Countries Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Fiji - Sputnik International, 1920, 31.05.2022
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is currently on an eight-nation pacific nations tour that has yielded a string of agreements with countries like the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Samoa, and Kiribati. There was a plan to sign a region-wide agreement during the trip, which is scheduled to be concluded on 4 June.
China on Tuesday released the "Position Paper on Mutual Respect and Common Development with Pacific Island Countries," revealing the purposes of the regional pact, the first of its kind, in 15 points.
Hosting the second China-Pacific Island Countries' Foreign Ministers Meeting in Fiji on Monday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi promised to bring a paper to "continue to engage in active and practical discussions to build more consensus," on the regional pact.
The regional pact is planned with with 10 Pacific nations, namely -- Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Niue, Vanuatu, and the Cook Islands.

The paper did not mention free trade or joint policing but vowed to support "comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security" to promote regional peace and security in signatories of the deal.

It also proposed cooperation in cybersecurity and non-traditional security threats, critical features of the draft deal.
Beijing has proposed appointing a "special envoy for Pacific Island Countries affairs" and supporting airlines to launch flights between China and the Pacific countries after COVID-19 is under control.

The paper primarily focused on taking several steps related to agriculture, health care, the marine sector, and trade to significantly boost the region's income, where one-fourth of the total population still lives below 'the basic needs poverty line' (the World Bank considers 1.90 USD/day to be the minimum income threshold for a person to survive).

It also planned to establish Confucius Institute and Confucius Classroom in the Pacific countries and explore cultural cooperation.
In veiled remarks aimed at the West, China called for respecting the "independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity" of the Pacific Islands nations.
FILE - Ships are docked offshore in Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands, Nov. 24, 2018.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.05.2022
'Deeply Concerned' About Security Deal With China, Australian FM Tells Solomon Islands Counterpart
The US and its Pacific allies had concerns over the proposed regional pact, noting that the deal is being pushed by China in a non-transparent manner. China warned the West not to interfere in the decisions taken by the Pacific nations.
On Monday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry asserted that the Pacific Island nations had reached a "broad new consensus" on deepening cooperation with China, "making an important step towards reaching the final agreement".
Qian Bo, China's Ambassador to Fiji, admitted that further discussions would be held since members have "some concerns on some specific issues" over the proposed regional agreement.
Fiji Prime Minister Bainimarama said the joint Foreign Ministers meeting maintained a "consensus first" approach when it comes to "regional agreements".
Before the meeting, David Panuelo, President of the Federation States of Micronesia, had stated that the Pacific nations should reject the plan, fearing it could spark a new "cold war" between China and the West.
To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала