US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during his visit to the Federated States of Micronesia. Photo: AFP

China courts Pacific island states in pursuit of ‘foothold’ as US risks losing influence, Rand report warns

  • Current agreements that provide US exclusive defence access to strategically important waters could be undermined by China’s economic incentives to Pacific states
  • Beijing considers island nations a critical part of belt and road strategy, and views economic support as stepping stone towards increased military presence, analysts say
Topic |   Pacific nations

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during his visit to the Federated States of Micronesia. Photo: AFP
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