New playground of the great powers

New playground of the great powers

The US signed a defense treaty with Papua New Guinea (PNG) on May 22 amid competition for influence with China in the Pacific.

During talks with PNG Prime Minister James Marape, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US would strengthen its comprehensive partnership with PNG. The two sides discussed economic development, avoiding the climate crisis and the importance of maintaining the United States’ commitment to the Pacific.

Located in the north of Australia and the most populous island nation in the Pacific – with a population of nearly 10 million, PNG is strategically located.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Blinken said the treaty will strengthen the capabilities of the PNG Self-Defense Forces, enhance humanitarian assistance and disaster response, and facilitate joint training of US and PNG forces, strengthen stability and security in the region. Blinken said the corporate partnership would also bring tens of billions of dollars in investment to PNG.

In response, the PNG Prime Minister said the deal would help PNG deal with significant challenges, including allowing PNG access to the US satellite surveillance system to combat “illegal activities at sea”.

The new playground of the great powers - Photo 1.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (right) talks with Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape on May 22 Photo: TWITTER US Secretary of State

While the treaty is seen as a deal to protect PNG’s territorial borders, experts say China’s presence in the Pacific is the main factor. Opposition politicians in PNG fear the pact with the US will upset China.

However, according to Reuters, Marape denied that the agreement with the US prevents PNG from continuing to cooperate with China, which is an important trading partner. Previously, Mr. Marape said that under the new defense deal, the US military presence will increase over the next decade.

Last year, the Solomon Islands signed its own security treaty with China, a move that has led the United States to refocus on the Pacific, opening embassies in the Solomon Islands and Tonga and encouraging more business investment…

Joe Biden would have been the first sitting US president to visit PNG on May 22 to sign the treaty. However, the plan was canceled so that the head of the White House could focus on negotiations to raise the public debt ceiling in the US.

Responding to information about the US Secretary of State’s visit, China said it was not opposed to normal cooperation, but warned that the US should not, in the name of cooperation, play “geopolitical games” in the region.

In addition to the defense treaty, the US also signed a maritime agreement with PNG, allowing the US Coast Guard to cooperate against illegal fishing and drug trafficking. Blinken also met with leaders of 14 Pacific island nations at the Indo-Pacific Island Nations Cooperation Forum in PNG’s capital, Port Moresby.

At a forum held earlier this same day, May 22, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured New Delhi that New Delhi would be a reliable partner for small island nations amid difficulties caused by supply chain disruptions and transformation of the climate. Mr. Modi stressed that India is committed to a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

China retaliates

A May 21 statement from the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) warned major infrastructure operators in the country not to buy products from Micron Technology (US).

CNN quoted the CAC as saying, “The assessment found that Micron’s products pose a relatively serious cybersecurity risk, posing a significant security risk to China’s critical information infrastructure supply chain and will affect national security.” The statement comes more than seven weeks after China announced an investigation into imports from the biggest US chip maker.

Micron said it received notification from the CAC and is evaluating next steps and expects to continue discussions with Chinese authorities. Meanwhile, the US Department of Commerce was quick to express that Beijing’s assessment “has no basis in fact”, stating that “this action, along with other recent inspections of US companies, is not appropriate”. transparent legal framework”.

According to Bloomberg, technology has become a major area of ​​national security competition between the two major economies. Washington has already blacklisted many Chinese technology companies, restricting China from buying chips and restricting its citizens from investing in this industry in China… Founder of risk consulting firm Trenchcoat Advisors (USA) Holden Triplett commented that the decision of the CAC is retaliation against the US, pushing many other chip makers into an unstable position.


What do you think?

Written by Esme Dominguez

South Korea says it has no hostility towards North Korea

South Korea says it has no hostility towards North Korea

Urgent reform of the Security Council

Urgent reform of the Security Council