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Chinese influence on sovereignty set to trouble Pacific region

Talks between the world’s two biggest superpowers is expected to have a ripple effect throughout the Pacific.

US president Joe Biden has spoken to his China counterpart Xi Jinping about tensions over Taiwan.

China has expressed it would consider taking Taiwan by military force over its longstanding claim on the island since the nationalist mainland government fled from the communists in 1949 to form the Republic of China.

The US capital does not formally recognise diplomatic ties with Taipei but has convinced Beijing to abide by the peaceful means of the “Taiwan agreement”, otherwise the Americans have the right to protect the island over future attacks that includes arming Taiwan’s defence.

“We made it clear that I don’t think he should be doing anything other than abiding by the agreement,” Biden said of Jinping.

US president Joe Biden makes his point. Source: Facebook

Taipei reported 148 Chinese air force planes flying over the nation’s key defence zones last week.

Chinese’s intimidation has diplomatically impacted on a number of Pacific Island nations in recent years.

The People’s Republic has gradually attempted to strategically increase its influence in the region.

Solomon Islands and Kiribati were among the first sovereign states to switch allegiances from Taiwan to China within weeks of each other in 2019.

Both were reportedly persuaded from China’s financial splurge on infrastructure despite Taiwan warning they would fall into a debt trap.

China’s influence in the Pacific has led some to cast doubt on the future sovereignty of small Pacific islands.

Vanuatu had turned its back on China for Taiwan in 2004 before the architect of the move, Prime Minister Serge Vohor, was ousted in a no-confidence motion within a month.

The archipelago has never recognised Taiwan since.

Only Tuvalu, Nauru, Palau and the Marshall Islands retain their recognition of Taiwan.

Tuvalu, who is one of many Pacific islands battling rising sea levels, had rejected offers in 2019 from the Chinese to build artificial island to save the 12,000 residents.

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