Much to Washington’s dismay, China is gaining further momentum in the Indo-Pacific region, leaving the White House with a new priority theater for it to allocate its time and resources to focus on Taiwan.
China and its relationship to the Pacific region is starting to make headlines again. The latest outcry appears to be another kink in a longer chain regarding Beijing’s actions in the Pacific and the wider question of the future of Taiwan.
China has agreed to fund a multi-million-dollar stadium in the Solomon Islands for the 2023 Pacific Games in its capital.
Unfortunately, Taiwan had previously made a commitment to providing the funds for the sports complex, but that has all but fallen through. Just recently, the Solomon Islands cut ties with Taiwan in exchange for funding from Beijing.
Kiribati followed suit shortly after, leaving Taiwan with just only 15 full diplomatic allies.
One would have to think that, given Beijing’s mounting influence and the sorts of packages being offered, that perhaps Tuvalu and the other remaining three Pacific states would not be far behind.
In a bid to bolster support and reassurance for Taiwan, the USA, Taiwan and the remaining Pacific Island states held a Pacific Islands Dialogue in Taipei shortly after.
At the same time, a China-Pacific Island economic development and co-operation forum is set to begin this Sunday in Apia, the capital of Samoa.
Stalwart American ally Australia has “observer status” at the summit, and as you can imagine, is becoming increasingly concerned by China’s recent diplomatic gains.
Following Beijing’s success in this region over the last few weeks, the government has seen fit to send the third-ranked Vice-Premier Hu Chunua to the forum and we would not expect him to come empty-handed.
Following this visit, the vice premier will then make a trip to the Philippines, another integral member of the Asia-Pacific geopolitical chessboard.
China believes, whether rightly or wrongly, that the world is moving away from an increasingly unpopular uni-polar system previously led by the USA.
While Beijing’s influence is spreading throughout the Middle East, Africa, and even South America, the fastest way to erode American hegemony is more than likely through the Indo-Pacific theater.
RT. com / ABC Flash Point News 2019.