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China speaks out about ‘cold war’ concerns with the West in the Pacific

China speaks out about cold war concerns with the West in the Pacific - Photo 1.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi – Photo: GLOBAL TIMES

Ahead of Wang Yi’s visit, on May 25, Reuters news agency cited a number of documents revealing that Beijing would seek a regional agreement with a dozen Pacific island nations during a foreign-level meeting. chief in Fiji next week.

Fear of cold war

According to Reuters, the Chinese government has sent a draft joint communiqué and action plan for the next five years to 10 Pacific island nations.

The draft joint communiqué, titled the Joint Development Vision of China – Pacific Island States, stated that China and the islands in the Pacific Ocean would “strengthen exchanges and cooperation in the areas of security”. traditional and non-traditional”.

However, according to Reuters, David Panuelo – the president of the Federated States of Micronesia (a Pacific island nation) – is said to have objected to this “determined joint communique” for fear that it could spark a “conflict”. new “cold war” between China and the West.

Reuters has access to the letter Mr. Panuelo sent to 21 leaders in the Pacific region on the issue. In which, ohng Panuelo said the “joint communique” would push the islands in the Pacific Ocean “very close to Beijing’s orbit”, “essentially tying our entire economy and society to them”. .

Panuelo stressed the risk of islands in the Pacific getting caught up in geopolitical conflict as tensions rise between the US and China over Taiwan.

What does China say?

At a press conference on May 25, when asked about Mr. Panuelo’s letter, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said he was not aware of this information. China and the South Pacific countries “are good friends and partners of mutual respect, equality, mutual benefit and mutual development”.

“I don’t agree at all with the argument that cooperation between China and the South Pacific island nations will trigger a new cold war,” Wang said.

The spokesman also emphasized that Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s upcoming visit to the Pacific region will “strengthen political trust” between the parties, help expand cooperation, and tighten people-to-people ties. and build community.

The draft “China-Pacific Island Nations Joint Development Vision” includes an outline of a ministerial dialogue on law enforcement capacity and police cooperation to be held in 2022. The country will also provide forensic police laboratories, according to Reuters.

The draft also states a commitment to cooperate on data networks, cybersecurity, and smart customs systems to help Pacific island nations access advanced technology, “develop the economy and protect national security.” .

In addition, the document also proposes a free trade area of ​​China – the Pacific island nations, as well as support to cope with climate change and health.

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