American media ignore a significant geostrategic victory over China

A quiet victory was just won in the South Pacific, but our media were too busy covering the putative bravery of Spartacus of Newark to even notice.  Amid all the hype over Russia's supposed threats to our global standing, China, with almost eight times the GDP of Russia, is aggressively building the wherewithal to challenge America as the dominant power in the Pacific.

Our political, academic, and media elites, many of them recipients of Chinese financial largesse, remain relatively silent about this challenge, but our allies on China's side of the Pacific tend to treat the threat of China's rising power profile as a more serious issue.  For reasons of immediate self-preservation.

Thus, this news, reported in the Australian media, has been pretty much ignored here.  Primrose Reardon of The Australian reports:

Australia successfully blocked China from funding a major ­regional military base in Fiji, a move that reveals intensifying concern in Canberra over strategic competition in the South Pacific region.

In a move to outbid China to secure the rights as the sole foreign donor of the Fiji Military Forces' Black Rock Camp in Nadi, the ­Coalition government has contributed a "significant" figure for the facility to be transformed into a regional training hub for South Pacific militaries.

Beijing's rival bid, confirmed by the Fijian Defence Force, came amid Australian government fears of China gaining a military presence in the region, notably in Vanuatu, although that country's government denies this was on the cards.

A look at this map of the major South Pacific islands reveals how strategic both Fiji and Vanuatu would be in any possible future conflict between China and its Pacific neighbors, including American Samoa, and Hawaii.

The Australian has been told by senior sources that the government believed China was planning to build an airport at the site.

China uses aid, loans, and commercial ties to spread its influence, and it is not troubled in the least by unsavory behavior by governments that West has scruples against:

China first improved its ties with Fiji when the Pacific nation was ostracised by the West after Mr Bainimarama claimed power in a 2006 coup.  China has previously flagged interest in investing in Fijian military facilities.

In 2015, its then ambassador to Fiji, Zhang Ping, said he was open to helping Fiji set up a new naval base.  "If there is a need from the Fiji side, we will be happy to look at it," he said, according to a report in the Fiji Sun.  It said Fiji and China had previously signed a memorandum of understanding over military co-operation.

China also donated a new "surveillance and hydrographic" vessel to Fiji's navy at the same time as the island nation received a re­fitted Australian patrol boat.

Earlier this year, China sent scientific surveillance ship Yuanwang 7 to Fiji on the same day the Australian navy's HMAS Adelaide was in Suva as part of the Indo-Pacific Endeavour exercise.

Fiji has a close policing relationships with China.  It signed a police co-operation deal with Beijing's Ministry of Public Security in 2011 that involves sending Fiji police to China for training.

The geopolitics of the 21st century will be principally about the world coping with the rise of a rich, aggressive, economically sophisticated China, anxious to redress four centuries' worth of grievances against Western civilization that humiliated, divided, and subjected China to an inferior status.

It's too bad that our elites instead focus on Russia, a nation that does have a huge nuclear arsenal, but little else in the way of global economic might.  Its population is falling and dying younger, and produces few manufactured exports other than defense materiel mainly sold to nations that can't buy American gear.

Hat tip: John McMahon

A quiet victory was just won in the South Pacific, but our media were too busy covering the putative bravery of Spartacus of Newark to even notice.  Amid all the hype over Russia's supposed threats to our global standing, China, with almost eight times the GDP of Russia, is aggressively building the wherewithal to challenge America as the dominant power in the Pacific.

Our political, academic, and media elites, many of them recipients of Chinese financial largesse, remain relatively silent about this challenge, but our allies on China's side of the Pacific tend to treat the threat of China's rising power profile as a more serious issue.  For reasons of immediate self-preservation.

Thus, this news, reported in the Australian media, has been pretty much ignored here.  Primrose Reardon of The Australian reports:

Australia successfully blocked China from funding a major ­regional military base in Fiji, a move that reveals intensifying concern in Canberra over strategic competition in the South Pacific region.

In a move to outbid China to secure the rights as the sole foreign donor of the Fiji Military Forces' Black Rock Camp in Nadi, the ­Coalition government has contributed a "significant" figure for the facility to be transformed into a regional training hub for South Pacific militaries.

Beijing's rival bid, confirmed by the Fijian Defence Force, came amid Australian government fears of China gaining a military presence in the region, notably in Vanuatu, although that country's government denies this was on the cards.

A look at this map of the major South Pacific islands reveals how strategic both Fiji and Vanuatu would be in any possible future conflict between China and its Pacific neighbors, including American Samoa, and Hawaii.

The Australian has been told by senior sources that the government believed China was planning to build an airport at the site.

China uses aid, loans, and commercial ties to spread its influence, and it is not troubled in the least by unsavory behavior by governments that West has scruples against:

China first improved its ties with Fiji when the Pacific nation was ostracised by the West after Mr Bainimarama claimed power in a 2006 coup.  China has previously flagged interest in investing in Fijian military facilities.

In 2015, its then ambassador to Fiji, Zhang Ping, said he was open to helping Fiji set up a new naval base.  "If there is a need from the Fiji side, we will be happy to look at it," he said, according to a report in the Fiji Sun.  It said Fiji and China had previously signed a memorandum of understanding over military co-operation.

China also donated a new "surveillance and hydrographic" vessel to Fiji's navy at the same time as the island nation received a re­fitted Australian patrol boat.

Earlier this year, China sent scientific surveillance ship Yuanwang 7 to Fiji on the same day the Australian navy's HMAS Adelaide was in Suva as part of the Indo-Pacific Endeavour exercise.

Fiji has a close policing relationships with China.  It signed a police co-operation deal with Beijing's Ministry of Public Security in 2011 that involves sending Fiji police to China for training.

The geopolitics of the 21st century will be principally about the world coping with the rise of a rich, aggressive, economically sophisticated China, anxious to redress four centuries' worth of grievances against Western civilization that humiliated, divided, and subjected China to an inferior status.

It's too bad that our elites instead focus on Russia, a nation that does have a huge nuclear arsenal, but little else in the way of global economic might.  Its population is falling and dying younger, and produces few manufactured exports other than defense materiel mainly sold to nations that can't buy American gear.

Hat tip: John McMahon