China’s proposed security deal with Pacific islands falls short as Wang Yi tours region

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Foreign ministers of 10 Pacific island nations have failed to endorse a proposed security cooperation deal with China after a meeting with Beijing’s top diplomat in Fiji. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi used a video link on May 30, 2022, for the meeting with his counterparts from Fiji as well as from Samoa, Tonga, Kiribati, the Solomon Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia, as part of his 10-day tour through the region. The officials discussed Beijing’s proposed “Common Development Vision” document, but did not immediately endorse the document and Micronesia’s President David Panuelo raised strong concerns about the proposal’s security arrangements. Wang has tried to ease concerns over China’s motives in the Pacific islands, which has emerged as a contested region in competition for geopolitical influence as China, the US and Australia all try to increase their engagement with the region.

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