On Monday, Wang held a virtual summit in Fiji with foreign ministers from Pacific countries at which the region-wide deal was discussed. Several invited nations want to defer action on the draft communique or have it amended, an official from one Pacific country told Reuters. Wang urged the Pacific region not to be “too anxious” about his country’s aims after the meeting was unable to agree on the pact.
The deal, which was leaked last week, covers everything from a free trade area with the region to providing humanitarian and Covid relief. It also lays out China’s vision for a much closer relationship with the Pacific, especially on security matters, with China proposing it would be involved in training police, cybersecurity, sensitive marine mapping and gaining greater access to natural resources.