There is a strategic partnership between China and Djibouti known as the “Djibouti Strategy”. Named after a small desert country in the northeastern corner of Africa, the strategy is China’s strategy to expand its military and economic influence to sneak into the countries in which it operates.


China, in turn, seems to be aiming to repeat a similar strategy in the South Pacific. Analysts and others warn that China’s investment has hidden aims in China, which plans to build infrastructure in Pacific island nations such as Fiji, Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu. There is.


“The Chinese government will also take economic steps to sneak and neutralize South Pacific countries, or otherwise force them,” said John Lee, senior researcher at the Hudson Institute, the author of the report. This has potential serious strategic and political implications. “


In 2017, China built its first overseas military base in modern history in Djibouti. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) used this as a stepping stone to start promoting the strategy. Initially considered a “logistics facility,” the base quickly became apparent as a base for the PLA to influence the continent and the Gulf of Aden, a strategic strategic point. France, Japan and the United States also have military bases in Djibouti, but China’s bases also have implications as an antagonist to the military efforts of these countries.


At the same time as the opening of the base, China not only provided Djibouti with funds to build new ports, railroads, water supply, energy facilities, etc., but also invested 390 billion yen (US $ 3.5 billion) in the area. Construction of a 77-square-kilometer Free Trade Zone (FTZ) has begun. While many are welcoming the investment in Djibouti, the small country is now in a position to redeem public debt, which accounts for 88% of GDP. Some have warned that this “debt hell” could result in the Chinese Communist Party controlling the port and exerting influence on domestic and international policies.


“The strategy for the Chinese continent is a comprehensive strategy that includes economic, political and security elements,” said Joshua Eisenman, assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin, Lindon B. Johnson School of Public Policy. “For many years, the focus was mainly on the economic side, but as you can see from the relationship between China and Eisen, it is now a political factor in the relationship between China and African countries,” he told the Washington Post. The security factor is becoming more important. “


Currently, China is looking to the Pacific island nations. As with Djibouti, the limited natural resources have forced many of these island nations to rely on foreign aid and investment, as well as geographically eager for China to gain control. It is in a strategic position near the commercial sea line of communication.


“The region is part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. China’s funding and economic activity in the region is already influential and will only increase in the future,” said Lee. It is stated in the book.


China is not only planning the construction of military facilities and infrastructure projects, but is also increasing development assistance to island nations. For example, half of the overseas development assistance to Fiji between 2006 and 2013 is provided by China.


Loans are also increasing. China’s lending to the South Pacific Islands has increased from 0 to 140 billion yen (US $ 1.3 billion) over the last decade. Currently, loans from China account for 60% of Tonga’s external debt and 50% of Vanuatu’s external debt. In late 2018, Prime Minister Tonga has publicly warned that China could rob China of its strategic assets because it is unable to repay its large debt.


Countries such as the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Japan are concerned that the growing reliance of island nations on China could disrupt the region’s long-term stability. The Hudson Institute recommends that these countries unite and provide development initiatives to island nations, rather than relying on China’s investment.


“The sovereignty of these island nations could be looted by China in an economical way,” said Eric Brown, senior researcher at the Hudson Institute for Asian Trends. For example, a military threat could pose a military threat to countries like Australia, affecting the ability of the US Navy and its allies to maintain freedom and order in the Pacific Ocean. “