A consortium of ten Pacific Island nations rejected China’s wide-ranging regional security pact offering to train Pacific Island police in cybersecurity, expand political ties, conduct sensitive marine mapping, and gain greater access to natural resources on land and in the water.
The offer includes millions of dollars in financial aid, free trade agreement, and access to China’s vast market of 1.4 billion people.
Co-host and Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said they “put consensus first,” and that broad accord would be needed before entertaining “new regional agreements.”
Earlier, President of the Federated States of Micronesia David Panuelo warned fellow leaders the offer was “disingenuous” and would “ensure Chinese influence in government” and “economic control” of key industries.
Previously, Australia joined the United States in warning the pacific island nations of the “consequences” of “shadowy, vague deals with little transparency.”
President Xi Jinping also sent a message before their meeting that China would be “a good brother” to the region.”
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