China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi concludes his Pacific tour in Papua New Guinea (PNG) today with his 20-member delegation. Wang’s
China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi concludes his Pacific tour in Papua New Guinea (PNG) today with his 20-member delegation.
Wang’s visit to PNG follows a string of confidential stopovers to eight island nations across a marathon Pacific tour. China, already in having made multiple agreements with the Solomon Islands, had its sights set on signing a multilateral trade and security deal. China-PNG relations have remained amicable with frequent bilateral visits between both nations.
Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. are highly concerned with China’s attempts to establish regional economic and security deals in the Pacific. Monday saw a majority of Pacific nations agree to decline an arrangement that would enable a more robust Chinese presence in the region through infrastructure investments, the formation of free trade agreements and security deals. Despite China’s unsuccessful multilateral deal, sovereign states still have agency to agree on national deals; Vanuatu recently signed a contract to construct a runway extension and Kiribati has reported signing up to 10 agreements with Beijing.
It is likely China will work towards further economic agreements with PNG in hopes of building closer affiliation with Beijing built around strong diplomatic relations. Expect Wang to progress bilateral talks on other infrastructural and economic projects in the region following China’s $30M commitment to developing a “special economic zone.”
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