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Question-:  Why is China interested in the Pacific Island countries? What does China’s inroads into the Pacific portend for regional geopolitics?


Answer:  China is expanding its footing in south Pacific Ocean as it focuses away from its failed endeavours in Indian Ocean Region.

The Pacific Island Countries are a cluster of 14 states which are located largely in the tropical zone of the Pacific Ocean between Asia, Australia and the Americas.

China’s interest in Pacific island countries

  • Pacific Island Countries are bound together by shared economic and security concerns and account for as many votes in the United Nations, and act as a potential vote bank for major powers to mobilize international opinion.
  • China’s interest in the PICs is of relatively recent origin, and is linked to China’s rise in the past few decades.
  • Taiwan, which China claims as its territory, has diplomatic ties with four of the Pacific island countries. China seeks to break the diplomatic ties.
  • Pacific island countries are rich in natural resources, especially fishery and fertilizer. China aims to exploit it economically.

Implications on regional geopolitics

  • The move is likely to attract opposition from established powers such as US and Australia, which consider the region as their backyard.
  • The US will be compelled to increase its focus on South Pacific region as it seeks to strengthen its position to take on China.

Thus, at a time when the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue has emerged as a major force in the Indo­Pacificvis­à­vis China, the need to influence the Pacific island countries has become an even more pressing matter for China.

Tags: GS 2 (International relations)

By – Prashant Tiwari

Updated on 05 Jun 2022 |   Added on .05 Jun 2022  |  by admin