South Asia and Beyond

China Recalibrates Sweeping Pacific Island Security Pact; Why India Worries Beijing The Most

NEW DELHI: On #TheGist, from Miami, Florida, Cleo Paskal, Non-Resident Senior Fellow for the Indo-Pacific at the Foundation for the Defence of Democracies in conversation with StratNews Global Associate Editor Amitabh P. Revi.

Ms Paskal discusses China Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s island-hopping blitz across Pacific Island Countries days after the Tokyo Quad Summit, visiting seven of the islands—the Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea in addition to Timor-Leste, the Fiji meeting with 10 Foreign Ministers that failed to reach a consensus on an overarching, opaque security and economic deal that Beijing is seeking, how China is “fine-tuning and re-calibrating” its plan for an “empire building exercise” that “has the potential to become a “‘First Island Chain'” to hem in and/or interdict Australia and New Zealand”, local pushback, including from the President of the Federated States of Micronesia, David Panuelo, who warned it could cause “the fracturing of regional peace, security, and stability, how regional power Australia is responding, what the U.S. is doing to re-engage and how India being “the most successful in pushing back on Chinese political warfare in third countries” and being “well placed” to help the Pacific islands in what they want —means it is the biggest threat to the CCP’s plans.


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