U.S. concerns about China’s ambitions in some Pacific island countries… Comprehensive reins to strengthen cooperation with China in check

First PBP Ministerial Meeting held… Promotion of strengthening cooperation in six areas including climate change
Biden to hold first summit next week Korea also attended the Ministerial Meeting

The U.S. is tightening its reins to strengthen cooperation with the Pacific Islands, which are heavily targeted by China, and to cut off Chinese influence in the region.

US Secretary of State Tony Blincoln hosted the ‘Partners in the Blue Pacific’ (PBP) ministerial meeting for the first time in New York on the 22nd (local time) and discussed ways to strengthen cooperation with Pacific island countries.

The PBP is a cooperative body created in June by the United States, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom to strengthen cooperation in economic and diplomatic fields with Pacific island countries.

In their remarks, Secretary Blincoln referred to the ‘2050 Strategy’ adopted in June at the Pacific Islands Forum and evaluated it as “an ambitious plan to address the greatest challenges of our time, from climate change to public health.” We all share the same vision.”

In order to achieve the strategic goals of 2050, ▲ support for climate change response in Pacific island countries ▲ strengthen core information and communication technology infrastructure ▲ support for natural resource protection in Pacific island countries ▲ cooperation to build a sustainable and resilient economy ▲ Pacific Island Forum, etc. He promised to seek support for the organization.

Regarding the protection of natural resources, he said, “we will strengthen cooperation in response to unreported and unregulated illegal fishing.”

This is interpreted as having in mind illegal fishing in China.

After the ministerial meeting, the PBP issued a joint statement and decided to discuss details of cooperation in the six areas that Secretary Blincoln announced in his remarks.

In a video briefing following the meeting, White House Indo-Pacific Coordinator Kurt Campbell said, “Our goal is to be honest with the people of the Pacific Islands, together with our partners and like-minded countries, to focus on the issues that energize their lives.”

When asked about China’s response to strengthening economic cooperation with Pacific island countries such as the Solomon Islands, he said, “In general, there is strategic competition to a certain level in any area, and Pacific island countries are no exception,” he said. “China has ambitions in the Pacific, which is causing concern for some Pacific island leaders,” he said.

He continued, “One of the things we hear when we meet with the Pacific Islands is that national security is related to the environment, and climate change It’s an existential problem.”

When asked about the installation of submarine cables in the Pacific region, he said, “There are issues such as maritime area awareness (MDA) issues and increased connectivity, which can only be achieved by installing cables. It requires the efforts of several countries, not just one country.”

Coordinator Campbell’s remarks are interpreted as meaning that China’s attack on the Pacific Islands will not be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, but rather that it will support the overall cooperative projects needed by the Pacific Islands and broaden the ties.

Following the first PBP ministerial meeting, the United States will also hold its first summit with the Pacific Islands in Washington DC on the 28th and 29th.

Furthermore, the United States is expanding the participation of its allies and partners in cooperation with the Pacific Islands.

Foreign Minister Jin Park participated in the meeting as an observer, and Coordinator Campbell also evaluated South Korea’s participation.

France, the European Union (EU), Germany, Canada, India, and the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) also participated as observers.

Among them, Germany and Canada also announced their intention to officially join the PBP.

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At the meeting, Minister Park Jin explained the plan to hold the 5th Korea-Pacific Islander Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Busan next month, saying that it attaches great importance to strengthening cooperation with Pacific island countries under the vision of a ‘global pivotal country’.

He also introduced that he plans to upgrade this council to the top level in the future.

South Korea’s participation as an observer is interpreted to have the purpose of cooperating in strengthening support for Pacific island countries as an ally of the United States.

However, considering the competitive landscape between the US and China over the Pacific Islands, it is interpreted that they are still cautious about their official participation.

An official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that, regarding the recent PBP observer participation, any consultative body that can contribute to the realization of mutually beneficial cooperation with Pacific island countries is open, and “I understand that this consultative body does not target third countries.”

The joint statement adopted at the ROK-US-Japan Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held prior to the PBP also included a heavy emphasis on strengthening cooperation with the Pacific Islands under the ‘Unified Vision for a Free, Open and Inclusive Indo-Pacific’.

“A key part of today’s trilateral foreign ministerial dialogue was how to work with the Pacific Islands to advance our common interests,” Daniel Crettenbrink, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs, said at a briefing.

/yunhap news

The article is in Korean

Tags: #U.S concerns Chinas ambitions Pacific island countries .. Comprehensive reins strengthen cooperation China check

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