To strengthen economic and security relations with Pacific islands nations, the UK, Japan, Australia and New Zealand have created a group.
On Friday, the members jointly stated that the informal alliance (called Partners in the Blue Pacific or PBP) was meant to improve the effectiveness of ongoing efforts. “to support prosperity, resilience, and security”In the area
It will run “according to principles of Pacific regionalism, sovereignty, transparency, accountability, and most of all, [will be] led and guided by the Pacific islands,”The statement was read.
PBP’s core goals also include the expansion of opportunities for cooperation between the Pacific island nations and the rest of the world, it added.
This alliance is necessary because of the challenges facing the region. “most urgent challenges,”Covid-19 is a global initiative that addresses the climate crisis. “growing pressure on the rules-based free and open international order.”
This may refer to China’s intensified attempts to bolster its influence in the Pacific and reach out to local players.
Beijing, which signed an April security pact to the Solomon Islands in April, has started training its local troops. It also reached an agreement with Samoa on economic and technical cooperation.
Those developments caused serious concerns in Australia and New Zealand, with the Biden administration promising to commit more resources to the region to counter China’s moves.
Kurt Campbell (White House Indo-Pacific coordinator) stated that US high-ranking diplomats will be visiting the Pacific islands soon. “recognizing that nothing replaces, really, diplomatic boots on the ground.”
“Sovereignty is central in terms of how we see the Pacific overall. Any initiative that compromises or calls into question that sovereignty, I think we would have concerns with,”Campbell stated this, but did not mention China.
Australia, UK, and USA launched last year the “AUKUS Security Alliance”, which saw the three countries work together to arm Canberra using nuclear-powered submarines, as well as cooperating in the development and production of hypersonic weapons.
China criticised the agreement, claiming it would undermine security in the Pacific Region.