The Chinese regime’s relations with neighboring countries are often characterized by abundant investments, which, in return, end up over-committing them.
In other words, the ‘beneficiary’ countries, in addition to being obliged to repay the cost of these investments, are pressured to vote in favor of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in international events.
Rejection by the Pacific Islands
Recently, however, 10 Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) countries rejected the CCP’s call to sign a “security and trade agreement” without first coordinating among themselves.
This occurred when Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the second meeting between China and the Pacific Island countries at the end of May. The tour of the region lasted ten days.
On the subject, PIF Secretary General Henry Puna stated, “The region does not accept this approach,” adding, “but certain issues, like security, do have regional implications, and that’s what leaders are asking to share and talk to each other about so that everyone understands what’s going on.”
Likewise, Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare emphasized that he would not allow China to build a military base in his country because, “Once we establish a foreign military base, we immediately become the enemy (of the Pacific islands),” as he explained.
In addition to denying membership, the leaders agreed to coordinate with each other before reaching a security agreement, setting up a kind of tacit ‘diplomatic rebellion’ by which they demonstrated their determination.
Then, during the 51st Pacific Islands Forum held in Suva (Fiji) from July 11-14, the attitude towards the Chinese regime was no different despite its heavy regional investments.
For his part, the president of the Palau archipelago, made up of more than 500 Pacific islands, Huizhong, went so far as to challenge the CCP, assuring: “As long as I am president, my country will maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan.” Such a statement would have been unthinkable before.
Eighteen members participated in the Forum, including Australia, the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, the Republic of Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu.
This maritime region of tens of millions square kilometers is of great geopolitical interest. In a broader context, external powers, such as the United States and the Chinese regime, seek to assert their interests.
The Chinese regime’s setback is evidence that more and more countries and international organizations are taking direct action to counter the CCP’s controversial policies.
Legislators from 25 countries call for sanctions against Chinese companies
On the other hand, more than 50 lawmakers from 25 countries and members of the Inter-Parliamentary Coalition on China Policy (IPAC) rejected the CCP’s support for Russia. They issued a joint letter urging their governments to sanction Chinese companies that support the Russian military.
“And as Russia’s largest single trading partner, it is vital to ensure that Chinese companies do not undermine the impact of international sanctions on Russia,” the signatories of the open letter state.
Although the CCP denies aiding Russia, it was revealed that it doubled its shipments of electronic chips this year, reaching a total value of $50 million. Exports of other components, such as printed circuit boards, increased by double-digit percentages.
In addition, alumina exports were 400 times higher than in the same period of the previous year. Alumina is used in the production of weapons and in the aerospace industry.
IPAC thus seeks to apply punishments similar to those announced by the U.S. Department of Commerce on June 28, which included five China-based companies on a blacklist.
European Union shows its support for Taiwan
On the other hand, the threats of invasion of Taiwan constantly issued by the CCP, aggravated by the multiple invasions of its airspace, are the most significant risks the international community seeks to avoid by opposing it.
This is why several countries are expressing their growing support for the large democratic island that is home to the 23 million inhabitants of the Republic of China, Taiwan’s official name.
This time it is the Vice-President of the European Parliament, Nicola Beer, who underlined Europe’s full support for Taiwan on a visit to Taiwan on July 19.
Beer underlined the significance of his unexpected visit by saying explicitly, “This is the time to stand firmly by Taiwan, saying that Europe and Taiwan are part of the ‘family of democracies’.”
She added: “The prosperity of Taiwan is also the prosperity of Europe. We will not turn a blind eye to the Chinese threat to Taiwan, Europe is late to the scene in Hong Kong, we will not be late to the scene in Taiwan.”
For Taiwanese officials, this is the first official visit to their country by such a high-ranking member of the European Parliament.
Simultaneously, former U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper visited Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on the same day, along with a delegation from the Atlantic Council, a leading Washington D.C.-based think tank.
Esper said his country should “move away” from the policy of remaining vague about its response to a possible Chinese attack on Taiwan. He added that policymakers should also look at how the Taiwanese defend their democracy, as do world democracies.
He also stated that the main threat to free political choice was the Chinese regime because it was damaging international norms and threatening all peace-loving peoples.
He considered Taiwan to be on the front line of the resistance of democracies against authoritarian regimes such as the CCP.
For her part, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen responded by tweeting, “A pleasure to meet with former U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper, the members of the Atlantic Council delegation.”
She added: “Taiwan is committed to working with our democratic partners across the Atlantic & around the world to uphold freedom, democracy & regional security.”
Moreover, the U.S. government will also be present in Taiwan next month, according to the announcement of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who plans to visit the Republic of China, Reuters reported, citing the Financial Times.
On this issue, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said it would “resolutely oppose” Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.
And it criticized the ruling Taiwanese Democratic Progressive Party authorities for “stubbornly promoting the wrong line of ‘Taiwan independence’ and colluding with anti-China forces in the United States The government has also been criticized for relying on the United States to seek independence.”
Thus, in a series of actions that appear to have been coordinated in advance, several countries systematically block CCP interventions in the international arena, trying to prevent the CCP from overreaching, with possible risk to seemingly vulnerable countries.
The CCP: Victim of its own invention?
On the other hand, it is ironic that the Chinese regime has to repent for some outrages caused to other countries, as is happening with the retaliation it imposed on Australia when the latter’s government asked for an investigation into the origin of COVID-19.
In October 2020, the CCP suspended most of its imports from Australia, damaging Australia’s economy, in retaliation for that request.
However, in the face of the global energy crisis, the CCP is forced to pay four times more for every ton of coal it will start importing again, becoming a victim of its own invention.
Although the official announcement is yet to be made, Bloomberg cites sources that reveal that some Chinese companies are preparing to resume imports of Australian coal.
Internet users did not ignore this blunder by the Chinese regime, and they mocked the failure of the operation. One of them noted: “To punish Australia, the Chinese government banned Australian coal imports and tore up the contract.”
He added: “The initial contract price was more than $100 per ton. On re-signing the contract, the price has increased to more than $400 per ton. The Chinese government is really kicking its own feet.”
This scenario shows a weakened CCP rapidly losing the influence wielded in previous eras, primarily gained by undue and disproportionate coercive means.
Several countries are beginning to exercise their sovereignty fully, countering the bullying tactics often used by the Chinese regime and marking what could become a substantial change in global geopolitics.