(136)The CCP Targets Pacific Island Nations for Their Strategic Value

Despite their size, Pacific island nations have the critical strategic value of being able to serve as maritime bases. Their total land area is just 53,000 square kilometers (20,463 square miles) compared with their exclusive economic zones (EEZ) over ocean, which measure 19,000,000 square kilometers (7,335,941 square miles) — an area over six times the size of China’s EEZs. Developing greater ties with Pacific island nations is a publicly acknowledged component of the CCP’s military strategy.

Currently, spheres of influence in the Pacific area are divided between the United States, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, and France. To develop its maritime capabilities in the Pacific Ocean, the CCP must first build good relations with the island nations, then slowly push out the U.S. presence. [27]

John Henderson, a New Zealand professor, and Benjamin Reilly, a professor in Australia, said that the CCP’s long-term goal in the South Pacific area is to take the place of America as the superpower there. [28] The CCP has invested immense amounts of money in Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia to assist these island nations in constructing infrastructure. It has promoted local tourism, and made e-business platforms available. It is outstripping American activity in the area. Ben Bohane, an Australian author, warned that America is losing influence over the Pacific Ocean to China. [29]

Following the CCP’s large-scale financial assistance and investment, the arrogant behavior of its officials reflects the real mentality of the CCP when it is strong and thinks highly of its abilities. It tries to treat the people of other nations the way it treats the Chinese people under its totalitarian control. The CCP’s goal is to demand obedience from countries of inferior strength. Naturally, the CCP cannot be expected to respect international regulations and protocol.

At the APEC summit held in late 2018 in Papua New Guinea, the rude and uncivilized behavior of Chinese officials shocked the locals and those in attendance. Chinese officials bluntly stopped journalists (including those of Papua New Guinea) from interviewing attendees at a forum held between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and leaders of the Pacific island nations. Instead, they demanded that all journalists refer to the Xinhua news release.

To prevent statements condemning the CCP regime’s unfair trade behavior from being written into a joint communique, Chinese officials demanded to meet the Papua New Guinea foreign minister. Since a private meeting with Chinese officials would affect his impartial stance, he turned down the request. Third, Chinese officials resorted to yelling and shouting at the summit when they accused other countries of plotting a scheme against China. One high-ranking U.S. official described the CCP officials’ behavior at APEC as “tantrum diplomacy.” [30]

From Chapter Eighteen
The Chinese Communist Party’s Global Ambitions

The CCP’s long-term goal in the South Pacific area is to take the place of America as the superpower there.
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