Pacific Islands Forum against the backdrop of Sino-US rivalry

Pacific Islands Forum against the backdrop of Sino-US rivalry

“We are on the front lines in the face of the harmful effects of climate change,” To the Pacific Island leaders meeting July 12-14 in Suva (Fiji) in a Joint Strategic Document for 2050, adopted after three days of intense discussions. called for Urgent, powerful and transformative action At all national, regional and global levels. The 2022 edition of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) was the most important to be held in years as the climate emergency becomes increasingly urgent for low-lying islands facing rising waters.

Containing China’s progress

The summit was mainly marked by the growing geopolitical rivalry in the region, particularly between the United States and China. On the second day, Wednesday, July 13, US Vice President Kamala Harris announced funding of up to $600 million (€600 million) in the Pacific, in an effort to contain China’s advance in the Pacific. This part of the world.

Kamala Harris also announced that Washington will open two new embassies, one in Tonga and one in Kiribati. “This is an important step. We are very pleased to finally have an American presence in Tonga” Welcome, I spoke via video call. Washington also plans to appoint an envoy to the Pacific and launch a national strategy for the region.

The United States wants to “significantly strengthen its presence”

This has already become an essential part of geopolitics. In April, the Solomon Islands signed a particularly poor security pact with China, upending long-standing alliances with Western powers. Kamala Harris’ intervention was a diplomatic coup for the United States, as China had never before been invited to appear in a similar fashion at the summit.

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Washington acknowledged that the Pacific may not have received enough attention in the past. “We will change that”, Vice President promised, adding that the United States want Significantly enhances their presence. China made no secret of its ambitions in the region, deployed state-owned enterprises there, and practiced checkbook diplomacy.

Despite the agreement signed with China, Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavari reassured his island partners by declaring, on the sidelines of the summit, that it would not host a foreign military base. Something to reassure Australia and New Zealand’s neighbors, who remain the most important donors to the Pacific Islands.

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