Translated by: Ermat
In terms of the CCP’s so-called “One Belt, One Road” initiative, it will bring great collateral damage to the diplomatic and geopolitical interests of other debtor countries. Let’s take a look at how the CCP has created debt trap diplomacy in the South Pacific region that has recently attracted much attention.
On April 21, the Solomon Islands signed a security agreement with China, which caused widespread concern among the United States and its allies. The White House warned that the U.S. government would express major concern about any move by China to establish a permanent military presence in Solomon and would respond accordingly.
Since the end of the Cold War, the US and its allies have lost interest in the South Pacific, reducing economic aid and personnel exchange programmes, drastically reducing the number of peacekeeping troops in the South Pacific, and the UK has withdrawn from the Pacific Community.
This has given the Chinese Communist Party an opportunity, especially in the last decade, to buy and corrupt Pacific Island elites in the name of “One Belt, One Road” to help them develop their economies, gain access to strategic resources, strongholds and information in the region, draw in and amplify the voice of the Chinese Communist Party, and build military facilities in Australia’s backyard, while alienating Pacific Island countries ties with Australia, New Zealand and other countries. The CCP’s attempts to turn the region into a vassal dominated by it have contributed to the region’s unrest.
As part of the “Indo-Pacific” region, the Pacific islands have become a new battleground for the United States and its allies in their struggle with the Chinese Communist Party. Not long ago, the US released its new Indo-Pacific strategy, which includes a specific focus on the Pacific islands in an attempt to stem the pernicious influence of the Chinese Communist Party. The main tactics used by the Chinese Communist Party are: creating debt traps to inhibit and undermine local economic development.
Between 2006 and 2020, Beijing provided about $3 billion in aid to Pacific countries, according to the latest figures from the Lowy Institute, an Australian think tank. It has replaced Australia as the largest export market in the Pacific region. China’s presence in the Pacific island nation has grown exponentially over the past decade, and Xi Jinping alone has made two visits.
But China’s aid for development projects, unlike most donors, is more than half in loans rather than grants. The Chinese government also does not want to forgive the debt, and the loan must be repaid with interest. The Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu all have heavy debts to China.
The quality of the projects aided by the CCP is not high enough. Large Chinese companies use bribes to obtain resources and land, such as grabbing hardwood forest resources in the Solomon Islands, mining them as quickly and cheaply as possible, and severely damaging the local environment. But when the wood is cut, all the work is gone, and when it rains, the river turns to mud.
The Chinese Communist Party provides aid for development projects, often with strings attached, essentially using Chinese workers and providing no jobs or opportunities for local businesses.
Under the UN’s “one country, one vote” mechanism, the CCP values the vote held by the Pacific island countries, and used debt as a threat to force the Pacific island countries to support the CCP’s views on issues such as Taiwan, the South China Sea, the Uyghurs, and Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement.
In September 2019, within a week, both the Solomon Islands and Kiribati cut ties with Taiwan in favor of establishing diplomatic ties with Beijing. And the CCP’s influence now touches many aspects of society, including the announcement of plans to send police to train the Solomon Islands military following the latest riots in the islands.
The Chinese Communist Party’s military presence in the region has been growing, from Kiribati, to Vanuatu, to French Polynesia, with repeated attempts to acquire airports and ports of military significance in the name of ‘One Belt, One Road’. And most recently, the Communist Party signed a security agreement with the Solomon Islands, after Beijing had already established military cooperation with Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Tonga.
China’s establishment of a base in the Pacific region is unsettling for the United States and for Australia, as the Solomon Islands are only about 1,600 kilometers off Australia’s northeast coast.
New Zealand China Studies scholar Anne-Marie Brady also mentioned that the Chinese Communist Party is launching a “Digital Silk Road” in the Pacific, using its embassies in the South Pacific to establish ground stations for its BeiDou satellite navigation system. At the same time, the CCP is using commercial operations to build reference stations in the Pacific equipped with the Beidou system. The ground and reference stations work together to provide centimeter-level accuracy for the satellites, which is vital for both targeting and timing missiles.
Richard Moore, head of Britain’s MI6, has warned not only of China’s debt trap but also of a “data trap”. He told the BBC last year that China had the ability to “harvest data from all over the world” and use money to “keep people hooked”.
A new study shows that China’s development assistance to many countries around the world is at least twice that of the United States and other major countries, most of which are in the form of high-risk and high-interest loans from Chinese state-owned banks. According to data from the AidData research laboratory at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, USA, in 18 years, China has provided funds or loans to 13,427 infrastructure projects in 165 countries around the world, amounting to US$843 billion.
In fact, not only in the South Pacific region, the CCP has adopted these bad measures in almost all the “Belt and Road” regions around the world, making these debtor countries unknowingly fall into debt trap diplomacy. Since 2013, in order to establish a new global trade route, China has provided high-interest loans for projects in many countries, causing unsuspecting global debtor countries to fall into debt crisis, and the CCP also controls the military, political and economic affairs of these countries. and other resources.
More countries are now aware of the CCP’s ambitions, and some are already awakening to them. The Chinese Communist Party is “backtracking” and using its foreign propaganda to spread the word that the US is the creator of the debt trap. We need to eliminate the CCP and eradicate the source of evil!