US pledges to the Pacific Islands to compete with China: In response to concerns in Washington about the rise of Chinese influence, the US has signed a collaboration deal with island countries in the Pacific.
It also said it would recognize Niue and the Cook Islands as independent entities and pledged $810 million ($725 million) in financial assistance.
The treaty was ratified by 14 countries, including the Solomon Islands, despite concerns that their leader would not.
As the Pacific’s entryway to Asia, the area is strategically significant.
Due to its geographic position and need for aid, significantly to help it cope with the effects of climate change, it has sparked a struggle for influence, with China eager to take the lead.
In June, Beijing presented a comprehensive trade and security agreement with ten regional nations. However, several of the nations opted not to sign. Therefore, it was abandoned.
The 11-point proclamation from Washington addresses everything from security to climate change. The arrangement made in an “increasingly complicated geopolitical climate,” according to the White House.
During the two-day gathering, which marked the first time Pacific countries had invited to Washington for an in-person summit, US President Joe Biden said, “Quite honestly, the security of America and the globe rests on your security, and the security of the Pacific Islands.”
A large portion of the additional US financing is being provided as part of a 10-year plan to purify the South Pacific’s polluted waters.
According to the Lowy Institute, Beijing gave the area nearly $1.5 billion in foreign assistance between 2006 and 2017 via grants and loans.
US Vice President Kamala Harris said earlier this year that the US would treble its assistance for the Pacific Islands’ economic development and ocean resiliency.