China pushing security agreement with 10 Pacific nations
China wants 10 small Pacific nations to endorse a sweeping agreement covering everything from security to fisheries in what one leader warns is a game-changing bid by China to wrest control of the region. A draft of the agreement shows China wants to train Pacific police officers, team up on "traditional and non-traditional security", and expand law enforcement cooperation.
China also wants to jointly develop a marine plan for fisheries, increase cooperation on cyber network governance, and set up cultural Confucius Institutes and classrooms.
China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi is visiting seven of the countries he hopes will endorse the so-called “Common Development Vision”. The leader of the Solomon Islands has called the visit a “milestone”.
Wang will be the highest-ranking Chinese representative to visit the country since the two nations formalized diplomatic relations two years and nine months ago. It comes amid concerns about their security pact that would allow China to send military personnel to the islands.
But Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare insists the partnership with Beijing does not come at the expense of ties with Australia, the United States and others. He noted that Australia, Japan and the US sent delegations to visit in April, saying that his government welcomes all high-level visits from key development partners. He also says that several agreements would be signed during Wang's visit but didn't give further details.