China has launched proposals to help improve network infrastructure, cybersecurity, digital forensics and other capabilities with 10 countries in the South Pacific. All of these are backed by Chinese technology vendors.
Newswire Reuters broken news China’s ambitions after China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi saw an agreement to take a tour of Pacific countries this week and next week.
The draft agreement proposes assistance in data governance, local police training, and mapping of the marine environment. Providing customs management applications, the possibility of funding data links to island nations, and cyber security assistance have also been reported.
Australia’s Foreign Minister Penny Wong acknowledged the report and, she said, made a counter-proposal to finance and development assistance, with less ties.
This is in favor of accusations that China is practicing what is called “debt trap diplomacy.” As a result, development assistance involves a repayment plan that small countries may not be able to pay. By default, a Chinese entity takes ownership of the asset.
Pacific countries have postponed their plans because of concerns that they could transfer sovereignty or lose control of their critical assets.
South Pacific countries do not have large populations or economies, but any World War II student has a place to do so because runways and ports provide the opportunity to counter sea shipping across the Pacific. I know it’s strategically important.
But like recently Volcanic eruption in Tonga By disconnecting the submarine cable, it has been demonstrated that Pacific countries rely on internet connectivity and therefore rely on a more secure online environment than any other country. But the countries in this region are by no means wealthy.
China is clearly aware of the challenges in the region.And other countries are aware of the challenges posed by China’s regional ambitions: Australia Funding the purchase of local mobile operator Digicel To prevent it from being acquired by a Chinese company.
And the United States operates a “clean network” policy that prevents all forms of networks that use Chinese equipment and businesses from affecting state networks.
This gives the Pacific nations the option of accepting China’s aid with the knowledge of alienating allies in doing so. ®