APLN member Sandra Tarte spoke with Al-Jazeera on the opportunities created for Pacific Countries by US and Chinese involvement in the region. The full article can be found on the Al-Jazeera website here.
One view in the region is that the China-US rivalry “has enabled the Pacific to attract attention and also attract more resources”, said Sandra Tarte, an associate professor in international relations at the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji.
The region’s success in getting multiple major nations to focus on Pacific Island nations also points to a quiet confidence that this – in Tarte’s words – was an “opportunity” they can benefit from. More potential partners lining up with promises gives the island countries more choice and bargaining power.
Ultimately, Tarte said, “it’s not about military power; it’s not about dominance or whoever is in a position to call the shots.”
“It’s about our issues, our agenda.”
Image: Al Jazeera/Nataliia Shulga