China’s Predatory Debt-Trap Diplomacy Threatens the South Pacific

China’s President Xi Jinping (right) and Kiribati’s President Taneti Maamau walk at a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, January 6, 2020. (Jason Lee/Reuters)
Beijing has made no secret of its ambition to dominate the strategically vital region. The U.S. can’t let that happen.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE O ver the July 4 weekend, China’s navy conducted military exercises in the South China Sea, near disputed islands over which Beijing has claimed economic sovereignty. The United States, which, like almost every other country on Earth, rejects China’s claim to the islands, responded with a show of force of its own, sending two aircraft-carrier battle groups to the area.

The world tends to focus most intensely on visible military manifestations of China’s aggressive regional strategy such as last weekend’s standoff. But the economic underpinnings of the strategy are just as important. The Chinese Communist Party has taken a rapacious, neo-colonial stance

Therese Shaheen is a businesswoman and CEO of US Asia International. She was the chairman of the State Department’s American Institute in Taiwan from 2002 to 2004.


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