Trying to Dampen China’s Influence in the Pacific, the US-Papua New Guinea Sign a Security Pact. PHOTOS/GI
PORT MORESBY – Papua New Guinea signed a defense pact with United States of America (USA) on Monday (22/5/2023). This agreement gives US troops access to airfields and ports in the Papua New Guinea region.
Washington has growing concerns about China’s rise in the Pacific region. Beijing tries to woo countries with a series of diplomatic and financial incentives in return for strategic support.
As reported by AFP, Papua New Guinea Defense Minister Win Bakri Daki signed an agreement with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken before the start of the US meeting with the leaders of 14 South Pacific island nations in the capital city of Port Moresby.
“The defense cooperation agreement is complete,” Prime Minister James Marape said at the signing ceremony. He added that the Pacific island was “boosting” its relationship with the US.
Blinken said parties from both countries would be able to board the other’s ships, sharing technical expertise and “better patrolling” the seas together.
“We are working together to shape the future. We are looking forward to taking our partnership to the next level,” said Blinken.
In a sign of intensifying competition over the South Pacific, Blinken is not alone in representing a great power aiming to counter Beijing’s growing economic, political and military.
The US is concerned that China’s military foothold in the South Pacific could encircle its facilities on Guam, and make Taiwan’s defense more complicated in the event of a Chinese invasion.