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China fails to persuade Pacific island nations to sign security, economic pact

Source : Asian News International (ANI)

China fails to persuade Pacific island nations to sign security, economic pact



Beijing:
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has failed to persuade Pacific island countries to sign an agreement on security and economic cooperation, amid concerns that the proposal would threaten regional stability.


Chinese Foreign Minister went to Fiji in person to convince the Foreign Ministers of 10 Pacific island nations, including Papua New Guinea, Tonga, and Samoa, to accept his proposal 'China-Pacific Island Countries Common Development Vision' but failed to reach any agreement, Global Strat View reported.

Some countries expressed their concern regarding China's proposal. Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama told the media that consensus is not easy. "Geopolitical point-scoring means less than little to anyone whose community is slipping beneath the rising seas, whose job is being lost to the pandemic, or whose family is impacted by the rapid rise in the price of commodities."

Meanwhile, the President of Federated States of Micronesia was apprehensive about the deal and said it is "the single most game-changing proposed agreement in the Pacific in any of our lifetimes" and "threatens to bring a new cold war era at best, and a world war at worst."

A rebuffed Wang told the island nations: "... don't be too anxious and don't be too nervous", adding that he will "continue to have ongoing and in-depth discussions and consultations to shape more consensus on cooperation."

"There has been general support from the 10 countries. But of course, there are some concerns on some specific issues and we have agreed that these two documents will be discussed afterwards until we have reached an agreement," Fiji Qian Bo said as quoted by the media.

To convince Pacific island nations, Chinese President Xi Jinping wrote a personal letter to their heads of government, which was read at the foreign ministers' meeting.

President Xi said that in recent years, the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Pacific island countries features mutual respect and common development. He further said that the relationship has made steady progress and yielded fruitful results, setting a good example for South-South cooperation.

Over island nation's concern, the Chinese President said, "China stays committed to equality of all countries regardless of size, and remains guided by the principle of pursuing the greater good and shared interests and the principle of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith in developing friendly ties with Pacific island countries."

He even gave them a personal assurance to them: "No matter how the international landscape may evolve, China will always be a good friend that shares the same ideal and follows the same path, a good brother going through thick and thin as well as a good partner forging ahead side by side of Pacific island countries." The Pacific island nations are still wary of him.

According to the media, the entire Pacific region is suddenly becoming the latest arena for the war of attrition between the United States and China.

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