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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

West’s vigorous plan to counter Chinese influence in the Pacific

News Analysis |

China’s continuously enhancing economic and military prowess has been the major concern for the United States and its Pacific allies over the years. While China has expanded the reach through active economic engagement with the regional powers, the west had been tangled into their internal and regional rifts which allowed the dragon an exclusively solo flight, until now. Now the west seems gravely invested into the Pacific and South East Asia to move forward with its plan to curb the growing Chinese footprint in the region.

As per Reuters, the United States of America along with its western allies are working on increasing their presence into the Pacific region by the active deployment of diplomatic staff. The United States, Australia, France and Britain will open new embassies in the Pacific, boost staffing levels, and engage with leaders of island nations more often in a bid to counter China’s rising influence in the region.

The significance of the region present great opportunities for the development of these states but at the same time, continuous militarization also poses threat for the long-term peace in the Pacific.

The significance of Pacific apart from security paradigm are the Small Island Developing States or SIDS. Small Island Developing States (SIDS) is a gathering of small island nations that tend to have comparative economic advancement challenges, including small yet developing populaces, restricted assets, remoteness, defenselessness to catastrophic events, weakness to outside stuns, extreme reliance on the universal exchange, and delicate conditions.

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Because these states have an equal say in the United Nations as rest of the recognized states they share the floor with, their votes are important for the countries in the general assembly. So far China has invested nearly $1.3 billion as “soft loans” or aid for the prosperity of the Pacific nation states. West interprets China’s loan strategy, which has been very effective for Chinese interests but not the same could be said about the states it has provided loans to, as the long-term penetration tool to achieve the strategic goals.

To counterweight, the excessive dependence of these states on China, countries like Australia, New Zealand and the United States say they will increment monetary guide and extending their strategic nearness to nations in the locale. “We are worried about Chinese practices that prompt unsustainable debt obligation,” said a U.S. government source with the coordinate learning of Washington’s arrangement for the area, who talked on the state of secrecy.

The United States, Australia, France and Britain will open new embassies in the Pacific, boost staffing levels, and engage with leaders of island nations more often in a bid to counter China’s rising influence in the region.

United States has also been exploring viable opportunities in South Asia with the increased interest in the ASEAN. USA plans to invest excessively in the ASEAN countries as a strategy to shift the balance away from China. But the key to Asia still remains with China especially after the Belt and Road initiative and with China’s loan strategy.

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Influence is not the only things which are the contested domain between the west and China. Apart from providing loans, China is also enhancing the military capabilities of the island states. As per the armed forces chief of Fiji, it hopes to get a Chinese hydrographic vessel, Viliame Naupoto, which can delineate ocean bed. It will be the primary military blessing from China to a Pacific country, and Western representatives considered it to be an endeavor by Beijing to discover support with Fiji, one of the district’s bigger economies.

Western countries are aiming to build a security nexus of their own through joint military drills with the Small Island States. Forces from Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Tonga will one week from now join two weeks of military bores off Australia’s northern drift, alongside workforce from the United States, France, and Japan. The significance of the region present great opportunities for the development of these states but at the same time, continuous militarization also poses threat for the long-term peace in the Pacific.