China plays for influence in South Pacific with security proposal and diplomatic tour
China has proposed a regional security deal with some Pacific Island nations. This move is occurring amid United States concern about Beijing expanding its reach in the region. The draft calls for an increase in cooperation in policing, cybersecurity, security, and economic development.
The deal is expected to be discussed at the China-Pacific Island Countries Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Fiji occurring next week. This will be part of a 10-day diplomatic tour by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Wang’s tour began in the Solomon Islands on Thursday and will continue to Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and East Timor. The proposal could mark an increase in Beijing’s influence in the Southern Pacific region, but it is not yet clear if the deal will be accepted regionally.