EDEN IAS

China Pacific Islands

UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS | CHINA, PACIFIC ISLANDS FAIL TO REACH CONSENSUS ON SECURITY PACT | 06TH JUNE

SYLLABUS SECTION: GS II (INTERNATIONAL ISSUES)

WHY IN THE NEWS?

  • Recently, the Chinese foreign minister and counterparts in 10 China Pacific Islands nations failed to reach a consensus at talks on a sweeping security and trade deal.
  • 10 Pacific Island nations — Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, East Timor, Niue, and Vanuatu.
  • The concerns of the nations were that the proposal could “threaten regional stability”.

WHAT WAS THE DEAL?

  • Beijing’s proposed deal was named Common Development Vision.
  • The aim of this vision was to train Pacific police officers, team up on traditional and non-traditional security and expand law enforcement cooperation.
  • Possibility of setting up a free trade area with the Pacific nations in China Pacific Islands.

 

  • The proposed pact would see Beijing train Pacific island police, become involved in cybersecurity, expand political ties, conduct sensitive marine mapping and gain greater access to natural resources on land and in the water, the offer was disingenuous and would ensure Chinese influence in government and economic control of key industries

REASONS FOR NOT MATERIALISATION:

  • The agreement will open the door for China to own and control the region’s fisheries and communications
  • It has been said that the deal is an intent to shift diplomatic relations with China very close to Beijing’s orbit.
  • The security aspects of the agreement will be particularly troubling to many in the region.
  • This pact has raised fears that China could send troops to the island nation or even establish a military base there, not far from Australia for China Pacific Islands.
  • It would heighten geopolitical tensions and threaten regional stability.
  • Samoa signed a separate bilateral agreement with China for greater collaboration, citing China as a key development partner in infrastructure.
  • Kiribati, an island country about 1,800 miles southwest of Hawaii and home to critical fishing grounds reportedly signed 10 deals with China.
  • Tonga, whose biggest donors are Australia and New Zealand but which also owes China $195 million, has signed on to cooperate with Beijing on fisheries and for police equipment.

 

Note: China is offering to radically ramp up its activities in the South Pacific, directly challenging the influence of the United States and its allies in the strategically vital region.

 

 

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