China's foreign minister's visit to Pacific islands is juicing sour grapes

China's foreign minister's visit to Pacific islands is juicing sour grapes

The time when western powers could imperiously demarcate their sphere of influence in the Asia-Pacific and beyond is long gone. They can no longer regard the Pacific island nations as their suzerains.

The Western politicians and media outlets expressing concerns about the Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi's unprecedented back-to-back visits to eight countries in the Asia-Pacific over the past 10 days are simply juicing sour grapes.

Instead of questioning the purpose, scope and transparency of Wang's visits, these western politicians should ask themselves why it took so long for them to listen to these countries' calls for assistance.

Since China built diplomatic relations with South Pacific island countries, their cooperation has developed into a model of South-South collaboration. There is a consensus that they should take full advantage of their mutually beneficial complementarity.

It is only because China has struck an agreement to help the Solomon Islands bolster its domestic security that developed countries view the Pacific island countries as more than just supply depots in the great expanse of the ocean. Washington even went so far as to express its exaggerated anxiety that the agreement would allow China to have a permanent military presence in the region.

Washington's scare-mongering about the agreement is a reflection of its own insecurities rather than a reflection of the reality of the deal.

China treats all countries equally, big or small, and opposes coercion and bullying of the smaller countries. Wang said that when meeting with Solomon Islands acting Governor General Patteson Oti on Thursday, he assured the other countries that Beijing will not offer them token carrots for doing its bidding, while brandishing a stick to persuade them to do so, as Washington does.

China seeks unity and trust while the US is bringing its suspicions and divisive Cold War mindset to the region. Wang started his trip immediately after US President Joe Biden wrapped up his Asia tour, showing that China will not sit idle while the US and its allies are leaving no stone unturned to transform the Asia-Pacific into a theater for their geopolitical games.

Wang's visits will allow for the normalization of foreign ministers' meetings between China and these countries, paving the way for further consolidation of mutual trust and strengthening cooperation in a more predictable way.

China has been welcomed in the region because it provides less developed nations with tangible support and assistance to improve their development and improve their people's well-being. That is a responsibility the developed countries should shoulder rather than trying to convince the countries to join their anti-China club.