tirsdag 11. januar 2022

Pacific faces ‘strategic surprise’, says US official, alluding to China

The Pacific may be the part of the world most likely to see “strategic surprise”, the US Indo-Pacific coordinator Kurt Campbell has said, in comments apparently referring to possible Chinese ambitions to establish Pacific island bases.

Campbell told Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies that the United States has “enormous moral, strategic, historical interests” in the Pacific but had not done enough to assist the region, unlike countries such as Australia and New Zealand. “If you look and if you ask me, where are the places where we are most likely to see certain kinds of strategic surprise – basing or certain kinds of agreements or arrangements – it may well be in the Pacific,” he told an Australia-focused panel.

Campbell called it the issue he was “most concerned about over the next year or two”, adding: “And we have a very short amount of time, working with partners like Australia, like New Zealand, like Japan, like France, who have an interest in the Pacific, to step up our game across the board.”