Media silent as Pacific powers prepare for showdown with China



The US and its allies continue to implement a dangerous strategy to counter China’s growing influence in the Pacific.
These days, it’s all but too easy to get distracted by the stories the mainstream media overhypes on a regular basis and overlook some of those more pressing stories which fall beneath the radar. When you aren’t being purposely distracted by Donald Trump’s Twitter account, how he mistreats the Queen of England or how he is supposedly too nice to Russian President Vladimir Putin – stories like those on the football World Cup and the heroic rescue story in Thailand tend to fill the gaps, and not much else.

By watching the news on a regular basis, most of you probably wouldn’t even be aware that the major players in the entire Pacific theatre are preparing for showdown. Don’t say we didn’t warn you though; in March of this year I wrote an op-ed entitled“Australia and China on Pacific Ocean collision course and no one’s talking about it” in an honest attempt to get this story on the media’s radar.

No one is still talking about it, but as time goes on the stakes appear to rise consistently. Of course, you are free to read the situation however you feel and dismiss it if you so choose, but it cannot be a mere coincidence that Australia and New Zealand are in talks to sign a new “wide-ranging” security pact with other nations in the South Pacific with a specific intent of confronting China’s expanding influence.

Perhaps the reason has something to do with the recent Strategic Defence Policy Statement released by the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) which warned that China’s growing regional clout threatened the “values championed by the order’s traditional leaders” – whatever that means.

“New Zealand’s national security remains directly tied to the stability of the Pacific. As Pacific island countries’ relationships with non-traditional partners continue to develop, traditional partners such as New Zealand and Australia will be challenged to maintain influence,” the NZDF report read.

Oh, so that’s what it means. After what analysts have suggested was increased pressure from the US and Australia, New Zealand has had no choice but to change its tack and risk offending China by removing the reference to what it was once regarded as an “important strategic partner.” In response, China openly criticised New Zealand’s position, and asked that New Zealand “correct its wrong words and deeds.”