Pacific Group Focuses on China Concerns

China’s ambitions in the Pacific are a concern for some Pacific Island leaders, but expanded U.S. partnerships with regional allies are helping to address issues such as climate change, health and technological connectivity. purpose.

Australia is part of Partners in the Blue Pacific – a group formed in June that includes the US, Japan, New Zealand and the UK.

US Secretary of State Antony Brinken hosted a meeting with the group’s foreign ministers on Thursday.

A U.S. official briefing reporters on the talks said Canada and Germany intend to formally join an initiative to coordinate aid to strategically important regions in the face of competition from China. .

Kurt Campbell, the White House Indo-Pacific coordinator, said: “As we’ve seen in several instances, China clearly has Pacific ambitions, some of which are shared among Pacific island leaders. is causing concern,” he said.

However, he said the group’s agenda would be guided by the needs of the Pacific island nations.

“When we engage with Pacific islanders, one of the first things they say is that for us national security is really about our environment and how climate change is an existential issue for them. It means that it is

The Blue Pacific event will be held alongside the United Nations General Assembly in New York and ahead of a summit later this month that US President Joe Biden plans to host Pacific island leaders. .

The Biden administration has said the summit reflected a commitment to the Pacific island nations, and its leaders said this month that Washington should embrace their priorities and focus on climate change rather than competing with superpowers. He said it should be the most urgent security issue.

Campbell added that the group is also working to increase connectivity between island nations.

“This can only be achieved by laying submarine cables, so I think the challenge lies ahead of us,” he said.

“We think it’s important, it’s going to take a joint effort of us, not just one state, and it’s going to take money and capacity.”

Pacific Group Focuses on China Concerns

Source link Pacific Group Focuses on China Concerns

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