BEIJING (Reuters) – No country can block China’s cooperation with island nations in the Pacific and the area is no country’s sphere of influence, a senior diplomat said on Tuesday, ahead of a summit between President Xi Jinping and Pacific island leaders.
Australia, in particular, has been vying for influence with China in sparsely populated Pacific island countries that control vast swathes of resource-rich oceans.
Australia - Pacific - Countries - A - Grants
Australia will offer Pacific countries up to A$3 billion ($2.18 billion) in grants and cheap loans to build infrastructure, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said last week.
Xi is due to meet leaders from eight Pacific nations it has diplomatic ties with at the end of the week in Papua New Guinea, where he will offer “important measures” for more cooperation, Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang told a news briefing.
Countries - China - Cooperation - Exchanges - Island
“Other countries should not obstruct China’s friendly cooperation and exchanges with the island nations. Of course, they have no way to obstruct this cooperation and these exchanges,” Zheng said, without specifying any country.
Meeting in Beijing last week, the Chinese government’s top diplomat told his Australian counterpart that Beijing and Canberra should be cooperating in the South Pacific and not be cast as strategic rivals.
Zheng - China - Countries - Pacific - Everyone
Zheng said China was willing to cooperate with other countries in the Pacific, and that everyone should...
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