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China Moves on the South Pacific

Submitted by on January 8, 2014 – 11:57 pm EST9 Comments

People often ask me why, as a New Zealander, I care about the fate of the United States.

This is one of the reasons why.

This is what happens when the “free world’ is led by men of the caliber of Barack Obama.

From Bloomberg’ s Makiko Yanada:

china

Japanese, US and Australian defense officials are increasingly wary of China’s moves to develop port facilities in Pacific island nations, reflecting concern that those facilities could become Chinese navy footholds in the future.

Japan, the United States and Australia aim to take concerted action to curb China’s growing influence in the Pacific at the Pacific Islands Forum, which opened on Tuesday, and on other occasions.

In late July, a 1900-ton patrol ship from New Zealand was anchored at Vuna Wharf in Nuku’alofa, the capital of Tonga. The wharf for large passenger ferries was developed with full support from China. The pier is about 120 metres long and the sea is about 20 metres deep, making the wharf big enough to accommodate warships.

The wharf was damaged by a cyclone that ravaged Tonga in 1982 and left unrepaired. However, China extended to Tonga a low-interest loan totaling about ¥1.67 billion (NZ$345 million) from 2009 to 2012, which covered the entire cost of reconstructing the wharf. The new wharf was completed late last year.

Employees of a Chinese company that received a contract to build the facilities were taking photos at the wharf at the time of my visit.

In Tonga, Chinese financial support is also used to repair roads, downtown areas and even the king’s palace. Beijing offered another loan to develop infrastructure, including reconstruction of Vuna Wharf, from 2009 to 2012. From 2011 to 2013, China provided another loan to repair roads.

According to the International Monetary Fund, China’s loans to Tonga account for about 30 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.

An Australian military source said China is trying to shift Tonga over to its side with such support and could make this wharf a foothold for its military vessels.

According to media reports, including Papua New Guinea’s Post-Courier online, a Chinese company made a successful bid to expand a fishing port in Madang in northeast Papua New Guinea in 2010. In Lae, south of Madang, another Chinese company won a contract to expand a cargo port last year. In 2011, China decided to extend a low-interest loan of about ¥7.1 billion to the island country.

Authorities of Papua Province, east Indonesia, said a Chinese company purchased part of a fishing port in Merauke in the province, which borders Papua New Guinea. Chinese fishing boats have exclusive use of the port and a plan to expand the facilities is under discussion.

China has started using ports in the South Pacific, a region over which it exerts considerable influence. In time for a meeting of foreign ministers from China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations members, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin announced in late August that China will provide funds totaling 3 billion yuan, or about ¥47 billion (NZ$9.7b), to help develop fishing bases and harbor cities in ASEAN countries.

If the United States and its allies block key sea lanes, China wants to secure alternative sea routes linking the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean, a source familiar with Japan-US alliance affairs said regarding China’s recent activity.

In a time of emergency against the United States, China may use the South Pacific Ocean as a remote area that could threaten the US military, which carries out operations in Asia from its territorial island of Guam, and its military bases.

China has already provided support to build and redevelop ports in Sri Lanka, Pakistan and other countries along the Indian Ocean. The network of such Chinese maritime facilities has been dubbed the “String of Pearls,” which surrounds India. In the Pakistani port city of Gwadar, a state-owned Chinese company has taken control of the port from a Singaporean firm. Such a port could serve as a strategic maritime outpost for the Chinese Navy.

Beijing appears to have made efforts to establish another “string of pearls” in the Pacific Ocean, where the United States has been a hegemonic power.

Fiji is now pretty much a Chinese client state. Tonga is well on the way.

If the United States goes under, we all go down. China will rule our region with an iron fist.

9 Comments »

  • GoneWithTheWind says:

    Australia is a very sparsely populated large country with lots of natural resources. China is so over-populated that having political control of a country the size of Australia would solve so many of their problems. The day after China neuters the U.S. they will come for Australia and New Zealand.

    • Mick says:

      That is unless they have come here first. America is the prize that Russia as well as China want. Australia and New Zealand could be a stepping stone. When China finally has a blue water navy, plus strategic ports throughout the pacific and asia and a communist like Obama in the white house, do you really think they will send us full support? They will be powerful enough in a few years not to care about the US. China and Russia are increasiong their military forces and they HATE the west. The US is downgrading and here in Oz, what was it, 26 useable army tanks we have? Labor drastically cut military funding, it will take years to get our military to a strong level. I don’t think China will wait to take on the US before they take us. They will have support from countries from China all the way to pakistan.

      • Rick56 says:

        Mick, People should be reading this article ‘Australian electric grid sold to China–TPP anybody? Watch out US, you’re next…The Chinese Communist regime, through the government-owned State Grid Corporation of China, recently completed its purchase of a 19.9 per cent interest in Australian-listed SP AusNet and a 60 per cent stake in the privately held Jemena business,this was approved by the Federal Liberal Government.’
        http://www.rumormillnews.com/cgi-bin/forum.cgi?noframes;read=296131

        • GoneWithTheWind says:

          The U.S. is the number 1 prize or problem that China and Russia must deal with. I am not sure they want to go to war to do it though. That would mean they turn us into a glowing radioactive rubble pile and we turn them into the same thing. I think they will try to neuter us or let us continue our own self destructive ways while building up their own military power. Once they think we are too weak or to self absorbed to confront them they will take Taiwan. If we don’t respond to that then it will be the South Pacific and perhaps Japan. Sounds outrageous but history is full of outrageous acts.

  • Trevor Loudon says:

    Russia and China have a number of options for taking out the US. One of them is nuclear attack (Russia) followed by invasion of the continental US by China/Cuba/Venezuela etc.

    China has every major acquifer in the US mapped. They need to know which water sources will be safe to use after a nuclear attack, and which must be left for a number of years.

  • DebraP says:

    So, this may explain how and why George Soros and China are doing business. Makes me leery, should make us all leery if not, open our eyes.

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  • Graeme says:

    Bloomberg, eh? Doesn’t quite read like a Bloomberg piece. Could you provide a link to the original article?

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