Keeping an Eye on the Long Game: Part XCIV
the varsity game is in the Pacific
The People's Republic of China isn't hiding anything. Their plan is right there for all to see. If you can't quite understand what I mean at the end of May of 2022, the North American treasure who is Cleo Pascal will show you and tell you the story;
Under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, every island can get up to 200 nautical miles off its coast as an EEZ in which it controls resources, say, fisheries. That means, for example, Pacific Island Country (PIC) Kiribati may have a population of around 120,000, but, with its EEZ, it covers as much of the planet as India.
Now let’s colour in the EEZs of the countries being visited at the moment by China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his large delegation. What we see is a large, contiguous band—Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa—off the northeast coast of Australia, backed against Kiribati. And off to the northwest of Australia, almost embedded into Indonesia, strategically located Timor-Leste.
They're putting it in writing in case you think there's a lot open to interpretation:
Wang is hoping the PICs who recognize China will sign on to two prewritten documents. We know what’s in them because they have been leaked by Pacific Islanders worried about the implications.
The first one is “China-Pacific Island Countries Common Development Vision”. The second is “China-Pacific Island Countries Five-Year Action Plan on Common Development (2022-2026)”. The “Action Plan” describes how China plans to achieve its “Vision”.
Make no mistake, this is exactly the correct strategic step if your goal is to displace the USA and her allies in the Pacific.
If you want to get a firm grasp on the seriousness of this real estate, I would offer that you need to read up on the Pacific Campaign of WWII ... if you're running short of time, read my post from last year.
Back to Cleo's article;
“Vision” talks about: law enforcement cooperation, including “immediate and high-level police training”; “cooperation on network governance and cyber security”, including a “shared future in cyberspace”; the “possibility of establishing China-Pacific Island Countries Free Trade Area”; “enhance cooperation in customs, inspections and quarantine”; “create a more friendly policy environment for cooperation between enterprises”; set up Confucius Institutes; train young diplomats; “establish China-Pacific Island Countries Disaster Management Cooperation Mechanism”, including prepositioned “China-Pacific Island Countries Reserve of Emergency Supplies”, and much more.
“Action Plan” includes: “a Chinese Government Special Envoy for Pacific Island Countries Affairs”; a “China-Pacific Island Countries Ministerial Dialogue on Law Enforcement Capacity and Police Cooperation”; “assistance in laboratory construction used for fingerprints testing, forensic autopsy, drugs, electronic and digital forensics”; “encourage and support airlines to operate air routes and flights between China and Pacific Island Countries”; “Send 200 medical personnel” in the next five years; “2500 government scholarships” from 2022 to 2025, and much more.
Even at peace, there is a lot to gain if you are looking to strip mine the last of the fish in the Pacific without complaint;
Look at the EEZs alone. If China gets its way, the fishing fleets will be sent in, with processing ports set up, including “prepositioning” of various sorts, and loose visa and customs restrictions. We’ve seen China use its fishing fleet for grey zone activity before, and it has an overt doctrine of civil-military fusion. Additionally, the PRC’s 2017 National Intelligence Law compels Chinese companies to assist in intelligence activities. Then add in the cyber integration, police and diplomatic training.
Those countries don’t have the ability to control Chinese activities in their waters. That arc has the potential to become a “First Island Chain”’ to hem in and/or interdict Australia and New Zealand.
That is just the opening bit, you need to read it all.
If you don't get a flush of panic a couple of times, then you are missing one of the largest stories of the decade's opening chapters - the closing of the Pacific under the red banner of the People's Republic of China.