A win for the US liberal empire in the Pacific over the weekend:
China’s aggressive bid to exert power in the South Pacific will meet strong resistance if Fiji’s former prime minister Sitiveni Rabuka returns to office this year, with the two-time coup leader vowing to side with Australia as Beijing steps up its battle for dominance in the region.
The pledge comes as Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi arrives in Suva for a meeting of regional leaders on Monday, aiming to push as many as 10 Pacific nations to sign a new trade and security deal that has alarmed Canberra.
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Mr Rabuka said Beijing’s attempt to tie security issues to trade agreements was dangerous.
“They’re trying to lure us into their camp,” he said. “I think we should be very cautious. The Australian alliance had been tested and this one would be relatively new with a lot of unknowns.”
A Rabuka government would not countenance Chinese military bases on Fijian soil, or entertain a Solomon Islands-style pact to allow China to train Fijian police or military.
WASHINGTON, May 26 (Reuters) – Fiji is joining U.S. President Joe Biden’s Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), the White House said on Thursday, making it the first Pacific Island country in the plan that is part of a U.S. effort to push back on China’s growing regional influence.
The announcement came as China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi began a sweeping tour of Pacific Island countries – including Fiji – a region that is becoming an increasingly tense front in the competition for influence between Beijing and Washington.
The White House welcomed Fiji as a founding member of IPEF, which it said now includes countries from Northeast and Southeast Asia, South Asia, Oceania and the Pacific Islands.
“Across geography, we are united in our commitment to a free, open, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region,” National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said in a statement, underscoring Fiji’s valuable perspective in the fight against climate change.
Wolf wankers are not amused:
China’s most influential state tabloid, the Global Times, has launched a broadside at Australia’s new Foreign Minister Penny Wong, accusing her of trying to drive a wedge between China and Pacific nations following her dash to Fiji in a bid to head off Beijing’s push for a regional security deal.
The fiery editorial, which accuses Senator Wong of “double standards, arrogant colonialism and imperialism” comes as China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets leaders of 10 Pacific nations in Suva on Monday to pitch the lucrative five-year plan.
Senator Wong raced to Fiji just days after being sworn in to reaffirm Australia’s commitment to Pacific nations, pointedly noting that Australia was “a partner that doesn’t come with strings attached”.
It’s a beginning with so much more to do. Chinese security arrangement in the Pacific must be stopped.
Whatever it takes.