US to announce new offensive in the Pacific amid tensions in China

The United States will boost its presence in the Pacific by pledging to open two new embassies, increase foreign aid, and appoint the first ever US envoy to the Pacific Islands Forum.
US Vice President Kamala Harris will make the announcement virtually on Wednesday, speaking at the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) meeting this week in Fiji, at the invitation of Fiji Prime Minister and Forum Chair Frank Bainimarama.

The White House statement said the new commitments are to “deepen the U.S. partnership with the region and deliver concrete results for Pacific Islanders.”

The package will build two new US embassies in Tonga and Kiribati.
The US will also triple its funding for economic development and ocean sustainability, bringing the total to $600 million (AU$893 million) over the next 10 years.
The US says its first-ever US representative to the PIF will further expand its diplomatic presence in the Pacific Islands.
“We already have John Kerry, the climate envoy, he is very well known in the Pacific and highly respected. So it would be interesting to see who they choose for the position,” said Dr. Tess Newton Kane, a Pacific Rim expert at Griffith University.
Earlier this year, the US announced plans which was closed in 1993.

What is the meaning of this announcement?

The US statement comes as tensions in the Pacific are escalating, with some Western countries fearing that China is trying to expand its influence in the region.
China and the Solomon Islands this year, raising fears that China might base a military base there, although both as well as dismissed these concerns.
Two masked men are standing.

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogaware (right) and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Source: A MONKEY / AP

China then tension control, security, fisheries, data, and a free trade area, but this was shelved after Beijing failed to reach a consensus with 10 Pacific nations.

Like Mr. Wang enlisting their support, Foreign Minister Penny Wong in an attempt to “re-establish Australia’s position as partner of choice” in the region.

Departure PIF Kiribati

Since then, Kiribati has been in the spotlight. citing management’s bitter dispute last year over his departure.
Kiribati opposition leader also suggested .

China denied this.

“I would like to emphasize that we never interfere in the internal affairs of the Pacific island states and hope that the island states will strengthen solidarity and cooperation for the sake of common development,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said.

Kiribati is the closest island state to the United States in the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii is only about 2,000 kilometers away.

U.S. participation in forum ‘disappointing’

PIF dialogue partners, including the US, China, UK and France, were not invited to the 2022 summit.
Dr. Newton Kane said the US participation in the forum was disappointing.
“Dialogue partners… we are told firmly and politely that the leaders of the forum really wanted them to assemble on their own this time, without additional distractions, without worrying about outsiders, without worrying about being fought for them, like some sort of a prize,” she said.
“And I think it’s very disappointing that the US has failed to respect that and they have been keen to give the vice president a place to speak.”

She said PIF leaders “quite forcefully” rejected China’s request for a virtual meeting of foreign ministers on Thursday, the last day of the forum.