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"China Makes A Play For Micronesia" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP13 Jan 2020 9:12 p.m. PST

"In China earlier this month, David Panuelo, the president of the Federated States of Micronesia, climbed the Badaling section of the Great Wall. And, according to Huang Zheng, Beijing's ambassador to the Pacific nation, the countries' "great friendship rose to even greater heights" during Panuelo's visit.

Chinese investment in Micronesia reached similarly lofty levels in conjunction with Panuelo's trip, which marked three decades of diplomatic ties and included meetings with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang. Beijing has committed US$72 million in economic development deals, almost as much as its total investment of the previous three decades…."


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Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP14 Jan 2020 8:20 p.m. PST

Amazing what a few million dollars can do.

Looks like the Aussies, and even New Zealand may want to take note.

I imagine strategic bomber and naval bases will be coming shortly to the region, along with long-range fighters, SAMS, SSMs, and other stuff too, like in the SCS.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP15 Jan 2020 11:09 a.m. PST



arealdeadone15 Jan 2020 6:03 p.m. PST

Looks like the Aussies, and even New Zealand may want to take note.

Kiwis certainly won't. Their latest defence white paper focused more on global warming. Their military is pitiful ageing 2 frigates (no replacement in site) and 6 P-3 Orions (to be replaced by 4 P-8 Poseidons) and 1 understrength infantry brigade with 2 infantry battalions.

As for Australia, lots of money spent on defence though some of that is being plugged into job creation schemes (eg submarine project which was estimated at $50 USD billion but now is up to $80 USD billion with massive issues between the vendor and Defence Department).

Problem with both Australia and NZ is that the Chinese have been busy infiltrating government, education and other institutions. There have been a couple of prominent cases in Australia where politicians in both parties have been caught with problematic ties to China. The Labor opposition party had Chinese donors delivering shopping bags of money to them. The Liberals also take in huge Chinese donations.

And Australian politicians take on lucrative jobs dealing with Chinese or even working for them after their political career has finished (eg ex trade minister Andrew Robb leased strategic port of Darwin to a Chinese company for 99 years and then got a job managing the company's operations in Australia!).

The Australian economy is massively reliant on Chinese they are major consumer of Australian minerals and Australian education and tourist industries rely on Chinese for revenue. Even the apartment construction boom was reliant on the Chinese.

I think the big take away is that the USA better be wary of both Australia and New Zealand in terms of any future conflict with China.

I think it's a 50-50 right now whether Australia sides with USA in a conflict with China. Despite the rhetoric the economic imperative is too big and there are cultural shifts in Australia towards China.

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP15 Jan 2020 10:05 p.m. PST

Although I can't take issue with the factual structure of your post, arealdeadone, I believe your conclusions are a bit far fetched.

China has been using espionage & bribery to gain influence in many countries. OZ is well aware of what they are trying to do in the Antipodes. I see very shaking of this country's Traditional alliances. The US president is fairly unpopular here but even this doesn't seem to matter.

In the future, you may be correct. at the moment, I don't think you are.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP16 Jan 2020 11:36 a.m. PST

Thanks arealdeadone… agree with you….


arealdeadone16 Jan 2020 2:30 p.m. PST

Ochoin, Alas I am not convinced the traditional alliances will hold.

I am shocked at how much the Australian mind set has changed. China is viewed by many as our economic saviour. And some of those many include ex-Prime Ministers ala Paul Keating, ex-Foreign Minister Bob Carr, and high level executives in mining and other key industries. You occasionally get bouts of pro-PRC propaganda even in the nominally conservative Australian newspaper.

Even many normal Aussies I speak to have talked about getting closer to the Chinese and how our alliance with the US is bad especially under Trump. This is especially the case with a few blokes I know who married Chinese women (basically brought a wife from there)!

Then there's the growing Chinese diaspora here (now 5% of the population and fastest growing). These aren't people escaping China, many of them are here because their government supports it and a large minority of them actively promotes Chinese interests ranging from property tycoons buying influence with political parties to university lecturers organising Chinese students to quash pro-Tibet protests.

As for economic linkages, here's a list of Australia's largest economic trading partners:

China: US$74 billion (29.2% of total Australian exports)
Japan: $26.2 USD billion (10.3%)
South Korea: $13.6 USD billion (5.4%)
India: $10.1 USD billion (4%)
United States: $9.2 USD billion (3.6%)
Hong Kong: $7.9 USD billion (3.1%)
New Zealand: $7.1 USD billion (2.8%)
Taiwan: $6.7 USD billion (2.6%)

Bear in mind Hong Kong is really part of China so the Chinese portion goes to $81.9 USD billion or 32.3% of the total.

China is also currently the largest source of foreign investment in Australia (25% of total).

Any conflict with China would destroy the Australian economy and Australian politicians and citizens view economic matters as more important than any other (eg last election).

By each day Australia becomes more Asian, more Chinese and more integrated to China economically and culturally. This is an active Australian government strategy underpinned by trade, investment, immigration and other laws. It started in the early 1990s under ALP but has never been rescinded by any other government. There are questions now about it but it's not been looked at in serious way (eg no prohibition of foreign donations to political parties and no serious attempts to diversify economy away from reliance on China).

So I maintain that the USA should be wary of Australia as an ally in the future.

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