Lawrence A. Franklin
Gatestone Institute, May 23, 2022
“… domination of the Pacific seems to mean to the China potential military control over, or vassalage of, not only to Taiwan, but also Japan, Australia, Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, India and the US — in Guam, American Samoa, Micronesia, Northern Mariana, Palau, the Marshall Islands, and Hawai’i.”
Last October, China convened, via video link, the first foreign ministerial conference with nine Pacific Island states: Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu.
The Chinese quickly followed up this initiative on December 3, 2021, by establishing “The China-Pacific Island Countries Reserve of Emergency Supplies” — an arrangement that the Chinese Provincial Government of Guangdong has with the Pacific Island countries that in the event of a public health emergency or natural disaster, China will provide needed medical supplies.
China’s diplomatic offensive in the South Pacific reveals yet another effort to replace the US as the primary superpower in the region. All the Pacific Island nations invited to the foreign ministerial conference had already embraced Beijing’s “One China Policy.” Some of these states once had diplomatic links with Taiwan but were wooed away by Beijing’s offer of financial loans, investment and corrupt practices, such as direct interference in the domestic political affairs that threaten the sovereignty of governmental institutions — such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Commerce, and the Solomon Islands’ election process — in these island countries.
Dr. Lawrence A. Franklin was the Iran Desk Officer for Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. He also served on active duty with the U.S. Army and as a Colonel in the Air Force Reserve.
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