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US strategy to counter China in Pacific ineffective, self-defeating: The Guardian

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-09-09 14:12

This bird eye view shows the coral reefs in China's Xisha Islands, South China Sea. [Photo/Xinhua]

LONDON - The Biden administration's proposal to spend as much as 1 billion US dollars annually in some Pacific island nations as part of efforts to counter China is a flawed foreign policy initiative likely to fail, The Guardian said in a report on Tuesday.

"The proposed initiatives seek to make the region a US strategic priority by employing programs largely divorced from on-the-ground realities, an approach that will probably prove ineffective at best and self-defeating at worst," the report said.

The explicit purpose of the US increased engagement is to counter challenges by China to US preeminence in the Pacific and beyond, it said, noting that it is problematic because it is motivated by security concerns not necessarily shared by island leaders, who see climate change, not China, as the major threat to Pacific futures.

The initiatives are also conceived in zero-sum terms, designed to undermine Chinese influence rather than addressing the critical needs and priorities of island nations themselves, the report added.

"Island leaders do not want to be forced to choose between China and the United States, or to be played as pawns. Rather they wish to chart their own course," it said.

The US efforts to integrate Pacific island states into the hard and soft power dimensions of its strategy accelerate the militarization of the region, placing some island nations at greater risk in the event of conflict, the report noted.

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