søndag 10. februar 2019

Old Allies Notice as China Makes a Splash in The South Pacific

China’s growing presence among the islands of the South Pacific worries Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. And some island governments are now pushing back against that presence. But when it comes to both island governments and many local citizens, the biggest issue at the moment appears not to be geopolitics but the issue of illegal Chinese fishing.

Chinese fishing trawlers have been scooping up tuna fish, a main source of protein for islanders. For tourists, the South Pacific conjures up visions of “romantic beaches, heritage and culture, world-class diving, and natural wonders,” as an Australian travel agent put it. But on the less sunny side, the writer Michael Field warned nearly two years ago that “illegal fishing, much of it by China, is costing some of the world’s smallest and poorest nations hundreds of millions of dollars.”