US Cautions Pacific Island Nations After Kiribati Gets Chinese Police

US Cautions Pacific Island Nations After Kiribati Gets Chinese Police
Image copyright: Win McNamee/Staff/Getty Images News via Getty Images

The Facts

  • The US State Department warned Pacific Island countries against law enforcement assistance from Beijing on Monday, adding that importing Chinese security forces risks prompting diplomatic tensions, as the PRC allegedly conducts a campaign of transnational repression worldwide.

  • This comes after Reuters reported that up to a dozen uniformed Chinese police officers have been working in the remote Pacific atoll nation of Kiribati on a six-month rotation since last year. Tarawa hasn't publicly announced any policing deal with Beijing.

The Spin

Anti-China narrative

While the US Congress fails to honor America's financial commitments to its allies, Beijing has successfully turned the Pacific Ocean — one island and archipelago at a time — into its own backyard. If the PRC is left unchecked, it will soon be able to block American shipping and aircraft and put Hawaii and the US territories within striking distance.

Pro-China narrative

The West and its media, driven by Cold War mentality, are once again attempting to disrupt regular cooperation between China and a sovereign Pacific Island nation. While the two countries have no security deal, Kiribati has long requested technical assistance from Beijing to bolster its law enforcement capacity to meet the challenges of accelerated urbanization.

Nerd narrative

There's a 25% chance that the Solomon Islands will host a Chinese military base before 2032, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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