First America Pacific Island Summit held in Washington

Tags: Summits

In order to check the growing influence of China in the South Pacific region , the United States  hosted the first US Pacific Island Summit meeting at Washington D.C  on 28-29 September .The American president Joe Biden addressed the summit on 29 September and announced  $810 million in new funding for Pacific Islands.

The summit meeting was attended by the leaders of 14 Pacific island countries of; Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, New Caledonia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Nauru and Vanuatu.

The U.S. also announced to recognize the Cook Islands and Niue as sovereign states, following appropriate consultations. While both Cook Islands and Niue have full constitutional independence from New Zealand and act as independent countries, the U.S. considers them as self-governing territories and has not established formal diplomatic relations.

The U.S. will also launch a new trade and investment dialogue with the Pacific Island nations, enhance maritime security, and provide up to $3.5 million over five years to improve the region’s internet connectivity and to support cyber security.

 Threat of China  

  • In the past year, the US and Australia have been increasingly concerned about growing Chinese government influence in the Pacific and have escalated diplomatic activity in the region. 
  • Despite their small populations and economies, each Pacific state represents a vote at international forums such as the United Nations. They also control vast swathes of resource-rich Ocean and access to a region with strategic military significance.
  • China wants to gain influence in the region which is strategically dominated by the United States and its allies, Australia and New Zealand.
  • In May 2022, China had offered an economic and security arrangement to the 10 pacific countries in order to increase its influence in the region. However it failed in its effort.

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