Biden Hosts Pacific Islands, With a Rising China in Thoughts

Biden administration officers say their objective just isn’t particularly to compete with China, or to ask nations to decide on between Washington and Beijing, however to assist guarantee a “free and open” Pacific that’s peaceable and hospitable to industrial transport. However they acknowledge that China’s assertiveness has pressured them to pay elevated consideration to the area.

And China’s state-controlled media has derided U.S. efforts to realize affect as a part of an apparent energy battle. An editorial on Monday in Beijing’s China Every day newspaper stated the Pacific island nations had been “largely forgotten by the West” till just lately, “when the US and its allies began viewing China as a rival.”

“Impulsively, the area has turn into an space of curiosity on their geopolitical chessboard,” the newspaper stated.

The White Home occasion on Monday was a part of an elaborate multiday program that included a visit on Sunday to a Baltimore Ravens skilled soccer recreation, the place the leaders had been honored on the sector, and to a U.S. Coast Guard cutter in Baltimore Harbor, for a briefing by the Coast Guard commandant on maritime points. These points embrace the rising downside of unlawful fishing off the nations’ shores, for which China is primarily accountable. Mr. Biden stated he would dispatch the primary Coast Guard vessel devoted to working with and coaching Pacific Island nations.

Mr. Blinken was additionally scheduled to host the leaders at a State Division dinner on Monday evening. They had been set to affix a enterprise spherical desk on Tuesday with Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen and to fulfill with Mr. Biden’s particular envoy for local weather, John Kerry.

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