Asia Center President Jean-Francois Di Meglio has called on the United States to put pressure on China in the South Pacific as Xi Jinping monitors an economy “in bad shape”. Di Meglio believes that despite Beijing’s aggressive power projection in the region and its positioning in the Solomon Islands, Xi’ China is actually weaker “than at any time in all last years”.
Mr Di Meglio told France24: “Although you mentioned that China is now positioning itself in the Solomon Islands and China may seem more aggressive in the region.
“This is a time when China is weaker than at any time in recent years.
“Because the Chinese economy, as rightly mentioned earlier in your news, is in bad, very bad shape.
“So now is probably a good time to take a much more aggressive stance with China, especially showing the US allies that they are there.”
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday urged the Pacific region not to be “too anxious” about his country’s goals after a meeting with his counterparts from 10 island nations postponed consideration of a far-reaching communiqué on trade and security.
Wang hosted the video meeting with foreign ministers of Pacific island countries with diplomatic ties with China midway through a tour of the region where Beijing’s ambitions for broader security ties have sparked protests. concern of American allies.
A draft communiqué and a five-year action plan sent by China to the invited nations ahead of the meeting showed that China is seeking a broad regional agreement on trade and security.
But the draft statement, first reported by Reuters, drew opposition from at least one of the invited countries, the Federated States of Micronesia, according to a leaked letter last week.
After the meeting, which included Samoa, Tonga, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Niue and Vanuatu, Wang said further discussions were needed to reach greater consensus.
“China will issue its own position paper on our own positions and proposals and proposals for cooperation with Pacific island countries, and in the future, we will continue to have continuous and in-depth discussions and consultations to achieve greater consensus on cooperation,” he told reporters in Fiji.
Wang said some have questioned China’s motives for being so active in the Pacific islands, and his response was that China also supports developing countries in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean.
“Don’t be too anxious and don’t be too nervous, because the common development and prosperity of China and all other developing countries will only mean greater harmony, greater justice and greater progress of the world. entire,” he said.
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China’s ambassador to Fiji, Qian Bo, said when answering questions after the briefing that participants agreed to discuss the draft communiqué and five-year plan “until we come to an agreement”.
“There has been general support from the 10 countries with which we have diplomatic relations, but of course there are concerns on some specific issues.”
He did not identify areas of concern.
The United States, Australia, Japan and New Zealand have expressed concern over a security pact signed by the Solomon Islands with China last month, saying it has regional consequences and could lead to a Chinese military presence near Australia and in a strategic position in the Pacific.