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China eyeing land in the South Pacific creates ‘appreciable unease’ in Australia, professor says

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There is “considerable unease” in Australia as a Chinese company seems to buy strategically positioned land off the Island nation’s coast, an Australian professor instructed Fox News.

A Chinese state-owned company is in negotiations to buy a forestry plantation in the Solomon Islands with a deep-water port and a World War II airstrip, according to the Associated Press. The land is located in the South Pacific just a little over 1,000 miles from Australia’s coast.

“This is unsettling on a number of levels,” stated John Blaxland, an Australian National University professor of worldwide safety and intelligence research. “These islands, if occupied and controlled by an enemy, would be able to isolate Australia from North America.

China signed a bilateral security pact with the Solomon Islands in the Spring, part of Beijing’s increasing activity in the South Pacific. The agreement highlighted “the threat of China in search of to intervene inside our area,” Australia’s then-prime minister, Scott Morrison, said.

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The Solomon Islands positioned in the Indo-Pacific area, a spot of strategic worth for China.
(Encyclopaedia Britannica/Universal Images Group)

The deal states that the Solomon Islands can name on China to ship “police, armed police, military personnel and other law enforcement” to the nation for numerous causes, together with “maintaining social order” and “protecting people’s lives and property.”

Blaxland stated he fears that China has successfully co-opted the Solomon Islands’ authorities.

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“There is considerable unease in Australia about what’s happening,” he instructed Fox News. “There is an overwhelming spike in the level of concern about China’s adversarial ambitions and its intentions.”

China’s “show of force in and around Taiwan” after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s go to earlier has solely bolstered Australians’ worry of Beijing’s ambitions in the South Pacific, Blaxland added. 

John Blaxland, a professor at the Australian National University, says China's bid to purchase land in the Indo-Pacific region is

John Blaxland, a professor at the Australian National University, says China’s bid to buy land in the Indo-Pacific area is “unsettling on a number of levels.”
(Teny Sahakian/Fox News )

Rather than placating China, Blaxland stated the superpower’s aggressive diplomacy has inspired Australia to strengthen its protection capabilities.

“The shift in mood in Australia is largely, I would contend, a response to China’s actions,” Blaxland, a former Australian military officer, instructed Fox News. 

The relationship between China and Australia has deteriorated in current years. The Australian authorities known as for an unbiased inquiry into the origins of COVID-19, and China, in retaliation, imposed tariffs and different restrictions.

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China nonetheless stays Australia’s principal buying and selling companion, in response to Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with Solomon Islands' Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, in Beijing on Oct. 9, 2019.

Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with Solomon Islands’ Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, in Beijing on Oct. 9, 2019.
(Xinhua/Yao Dawei)

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Aussies are paying “acute attention” to America’s response to China’s wolf warrior diplomacy, an aggressive model of coercive statecraft, in response to Blaxland.

“There is a fine balance between our fear of abandonment coupled with a fear of entrapment,” Blaxland stated. There’s a priority that an “overly assertive United States” may contribute to an escalation over Taiwan that will “draw Australia, as a close and trusted ally, into a fight that Australia would very much like to avoid.”

There is “nervousness” in Australia that the U.S. will default to army motion if a difficulty arises with China, Blaxland instructed Fox News. “If it wants to compete in the Indo-Pacific,” the U.S. “needs to step up economically.” 

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