Despite crippling tariffs of the U.S., China is still advancing its strategic aspirations of positioning in the world’s global domination. Chinese diplomats are seeking “deals” with underdeveloped countries.
The following Asia Times article exposes another country being inducted into the growing list of countries joining China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), another One Belt One Road (OBOR) program, the modern Silk Road and Maritime Silk Road.
DULAN, Taiwan — On Monday, October 7, 2019, Taiwan severed ties with the Solomon Islands after learning the Pacific nation was switching diplomatic recognition to China, as Taipei accused Beijing of using “dollar diplomacy” to buy off its few remaining allies.
The switch was a major coup for Beijing only weeks before it celebrates the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. And it leaves Taiwan more isolated than ever with only 16 nations left that recognize it.
Taiwan’s foreign minister Joseph Wu said Taipei had learned that the cabinet of Solomon’s Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare had decided to recognize Beijing. (read the full story here Asia Times).
“I am pleased to recognize the One-China policy … We are pleased to be on the right side of history and normalize relations with the People’s Republic of China”, Sogavare said ahead of a meeting with Li and a Chinese delegation.
China and the Solomon Islands signed an agreement to work together on President Xi Jinping’s flagship foreign policy initiative, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), as well as others on economic and education strategies.
One of the deals would see the Solomon Islands become a destination country for Chinese tourists, according to a report from Chinese state media agency Xinhua, but specific details on the agreements are yet to be made public.
After the Solomon Islands recognized Beijing, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence declined a request from the Solomon Islands leader to meet to discuss cooperation.
“We are willing to work with the Solomon Islands to grasp the historic opportunity of the establishment of diplomatic relations and open up a bright future for the development of the bilateral relationship,” Xi said, stressing mutual trust, respect, and support and exploring cooperation in various fields.
Xi said the “Solomon Islands located on the southern extension of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. The two countries should take the opportunity of the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on building the Belt and Road, align their development strategies and boost cooperation to help improve the Solomon Islands people’s livelihood as well as the island country’s capability of independent and sustainable development.”
According to Xi, “The Solomon Islands will become a tourist destination for Chinese citizens after the establishment of diplomatic ties, “which will generate great opportunities for people-to-people interactions, sub-national exchanges, and tourism cooperation between the two nations.” (Full-Text CCVT.com)
The China-Solomon Islands cooperation agreements outline the Belt and Road Initiative. However, other contracts have not been made public as of this writing.
Considering present member agreements associated with China, this move will provide another brick in the One Belt One Road expansion, trapping them in a spider web of a potential trade, political influence, and military presence.