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BIG STORY                                                                JUNE 03, 2022  |    The Indian Eye                     5

          Narendra Modi with U.S. President Joe Biden and Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese   External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar meets Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi on the side-
                    during Quad Summit, in Tokyo (ANI Photo/Sidhant Sibal twitter)   lines of the Quad Summit, in Tokyo on Tuesday. (ANI Photo/MEA Twitter)

        international law including the UN   status quo and increase tensions in   tion  and  overflight.  “We  will  cham-  of freedom of navigation and over-
        Convention on the Law of the Sea   the area, such as the militarization of   pion adherence to international law,   flight, to meet challenges to the mar-
        (UNCLOS) and are strongly opposed   disputed features.              particularly  as  reflected  in  the  UN   itime rules-based order, including in
        to any coercive, provocative or unilat-  The leaders emphasised the   Convention on the Law of the Sea   the East and South China Seas,” the
        eral actions that seek to change the   maintenance of freedom of naviga-  (UNCLOS), and the maintenance   statement said.

           China looking for regional pacts with Pacific Island countries

                hina is seeking a regional                                                                    already warned that the documents
                agreement  with  Pacific  Is-                                                                 reflected nothing short of an effort
          Cland nations that would ex-                                                                        by  China “to  acquire access  and
          pand its role in policing, maritime                                                                 control of our region.”
          cooperation, and cybersecurity and                                                                      Granting China greater access,
          also plans to offer scholarships for                                                                to the seas, lands, customs systems,
          over 2,000 workers and young dip-                                                                   and digital networks of their coun-
          lomats.                                                                                             tries, will increase the chances of
              Wang Yi, who is on a 10-day                                                                     Beijing’s invasion into Taiwan, Pan-
          visit to the pacific island countries,                                                              uelo argued.
          is scheduled to meet with region-                                                                       He further noted that this also
          al leaders next week in Fiji. Prior                                                                 looks like going to war with the
          to his visit, Beijing sent the drafts                                                               United States, Japan, Australia, and
          of the deal to 10 Pacific countries,                                                                New Zealand.
          The New York Times reported.                                                                            According  to  the  document
          Covering a range of issues, the                                                                     sent to Pacific Island countries, this
          documents appear to be a joint             Wang Yi with S Jaishankar during his recent visit to New Delhi (ANI)  year, if Covid allows, China promis-
          communique  that  Beijing  wants                                                                    es to start a new training program
          the countries to adopt. They offer                                                                  for  young  diplomats  from  Pacific
          a detailed outline of how Beijing   fluence, according to The New York   said, referring to China’s ruling Com-  Island countries. It’s part of a capac-
          seeks to win friends and gain great-  Times.                      munist Party.                     ity-building plan that also includes
          er access to the island chains that   “Wang Yi’s visit in my view is a   It amounts to a rapid acceleration   seminars on Chinese governance.
          have long played a strategic role in   direct challenge to the open and free   of a diplomatic push that has, until   On the Solomon Islands, the
          Asia’s geopolitical contests.   Indo-Pacific,” Peter Kenilorea Jr, the   now, largely focused on one country   country’s media association has
              The visit and the agreement both   Solomon Islands deputy opposition   at a time. The leaked agreement has   vowed to boycott Wang’s visit to Ho-
          seem aimed to counter American ef-  leader said.                  the potential to pull several nations   niara, the capital, because the pub-
          forts to strengthen alliances in Asia.  China is trying to show the Pacif-  into Beijing’s orbit at once if widely   lished schedule included a news con-
              Yi’s first stop is the Solomon Is-  ic that while the United States and its   approved,  reported  The  New  York   ference on Thursday specifying that
          lands, where he is scheduled to ap-  allies are “talking about you” in their   Times.               only one local journalist would be
          pear on Thursday to sign a security   Quad meeting, Kenilorea said, Chi-  And there are signs that the bold   allowed to ask just a single question.
          pact that has already put the Amer-  nese officials are “here to talk directly   approach could backfire. The Pacific   “It’s so unfortunate that Solo-
          icans and the region on edge. And   to you.” But, he added, China was also   islands span thousands of miles, with   mons is being used by Beijing now
          he is visiting within days of President   making demands.         sparsely populated  countries that   to push their own regional ambi-
          Biden’s Quad meeting in Tokyo with   “A regional approach is a clear   have  unique  histories  and  rivalries.  tions  and  destabilize  order,”  the
          their members, where the focus was   escalation of Chinese Communist Par-  President David Panuelo of the   Solomon Islands deputy opposition
          on containing China’s regional in-  ty’s ambition in the Pacific,” Kenilorea   Federated States of Micronesia has   leader said.

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