China has attacked anti-China agendas and policies of the United States, claiming its assistance to Pacific nations never attaches any political conditions.
China’s Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning has told the Global Times, widely regarded as a voice of the Chinese Communist Party, that China has always adhered to mutual respect, equal treatment, win-win cooperation, openness and inclusiveness in all their dealings with the Pacific nations.
“Our assistance to the island countries is sincere and effective, and never attaches any political conditions,” said Ms Mao to the Global Times.
There are projects in the Pacific worth millions of dollars being funded by China and these include Enga Provincial Hospital in Papua New Guinea, the China-Samoa Friendship Park in Samoa, Tobwaan te Rikirake Park Renovation Project, Solomon Islands National University Dormitory Building, Vanuatu Pentecost road project (phase 1) and others.
China has claimed that as a prospering nation they would like to aid other countries to prosper as well and they had special interest in the Pacific for this reason.
Ms Ning said their objective for the cooperation between China and the Pacific nations was to jointly overcome the fallout of the pandemic, and the vivid practice of the concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind.
She pointed out that the US Government only began their resurgence in the Pacific believing that they were losing out to China.
Chen Hong, president of the Chinese Association of Australian Studies and director of the Australian Studies Centre at East China Normal University, told the Global Times that as the US realised the strategic importance of South Pacific, it began to position the region as a battlefield for games with China, tried to strengthen its influence there, and colluded with Australia to counter China in the region.
“But the region is very dissatisfied with the U.S promoting its anti-China strategy,” Chen said to the Global Times.
Mr Chen said while China was conducting mutually beneficial cooperation with the region, the US’s strategy was to contain China. He said this was a game which Pacific nations had no intention to play.
Ms Ning said China had implemented a large number of aid projects in Pacific nations to meet the actual needs of people promoting economic development and improving livelihoods.
There is also a message to the US that China will not be backing down from the Pacific and will continue doing what it has been doing.
The US interest in the region certainly grew after the China-Solomon security deal was highlighted and a picture was painted that a military base was going to be made in the Solomon Islands.
The Pacific nation has stated many times that there will be no such thing. The US announced that it would be reopening its Honiara Embassy.
After Kiribati defected from the Pacific Islands Forum, the US has also made sure that it gives the nation special attention.
Ms Mao also commented that US President Joe Biden’s invite to Pacific leaders was an attempt to tie them up in economic agreements.
In the Pacific, Chinese aid and loans may not be accompanied with political conditions but do come with strings attached.
One of the key requirements of infrastructure projects is contracting Chinese professionals and companies to carry out the tasks, and this means less work for local companies.