China's Engagement in the Pacific Islands: Implications for the United States   [open pdf - 1MB]

"As Beijing steps up its global engagement under General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and President Xi Jinping, China is also increasing its involvement in the Pacific Islands region. Beijing's heightened engagement in the region in recent years is driven by its broader diplomatic and strategic interests, reducing Taiwan's international space, and gaining access to raw materials and natural resources. Although the Pacific Islands receive less of China's attention and resources compared to other areas of the world, Beijing includes the region in its key diplomatic and economic development policy--the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)--which suggests China has geostrategic interests in the region. [...] Beijing's growing engagement in the Pacific Islands pose a number of implications for U.S. interests in the region. China's inroads in Micronesia, where most of the United States' engagement in the Pacific Islands is concentrated, could threaten U.S. Compact of Free Association agreements with Palau, the Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia over the long term. Some analysts are concerned China is trying to erode U.S. influence in the region to weaken the U.S. military presence and create an opening for Chinese military access."

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U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission: http://www.uscc.gov/
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