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US bakes South Pacific pie stuffed with anti-China filling: China Daily editorial

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2022-06-26 19:07

Photo taken on March 28, 2022 shows the Capitol building in Washington, DC. [Photo/Xinhua]

The United States, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the United Kingdom launched an informal group, Partners in the Blue Pacific (PBP), on Friday, aimed at boosting economic and diplomatic ties with the Pacific island nations.

Coming barely one month after the Chinese foreign minister wrapped up his 10-day visit to eight South Pacific countries, and just a few days before the G7 and NATO summits, it represents the latest pie with anti-China filling President Joe Biden has hurriedly baked.

Although the five countries claim the initiative aims to "deliver results for the Pacific", "boost Pacific regionalism", and "expand opportunities for cooperation between the Pacific and the world", the move is undoubtedly a customized endeavor to counter China's influence in the region.

Stressing that they must harness their "collective strength through closer cooperation" and will "facilitate greater engagement with the Pacific by any other partner that shares the Pacific's values" — typical anti-China clique-building rhetoric of the Biden administration — the five countries employed another mundane line from the Biden administration's China-threat narratives, saying that one of the most urgent challenges the Pacific island countries face is "growing pressure on the rules-based free and open international order".

The initiative reflects the lord over attitude of the US and its allies, which have long regarded the region as their own fiefdom, and indicates that they are unwilling for anyone outside of their club to have any engagement with the Pacific island countries. Even if that engagement is conducive to promoting common development of the region on the basis of mutual respect.

No wonder a senior US official told the media that there was an "undeniable security component" to the reinvigorated US engagement with the region, saying that "There may be some security steps that we would take over time to help buttress our position in the region … I imagine we're going to have more ship visits, more engagement. And there may be even something a little bit more permanent."

Essentially then, the PBP is nothing more than a new gang formed by the US with its old lackeys to collectively coerce the peoples of the Pacific to give China a cold shoulder, since it is a framework under which the five countries can apply coordinated pressure on the Pacific island countries to exclude China from the region.

In the dictionary of Washington, there is no such word as "regionalism", only hegemonism.

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