To counter China's growing influence, the US is reaching out to some of the Pacific's smallest countries

Business Insider | 8/5/2019 | World Politics Review
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Chase and Grossman: China has aimed to increase its influence primarily through strengthening its economic ties in recent years. For example, in Micronesia, the only member of the Freely Associated States that recognizes China rather than Taiwan, Beijing has engaged in numerous infrastructure development projects.

Tourism is another important instrument of Chinese leverage. China temporarily increased tourism to Palau from around 2011 until 2015, but the numbers dropped off sharply in 2017, probably as punishment for Palau's refusal to switch its diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to Beijing.

China - Access - Rongelap - Atoll - Part

China may also be interested in gaining access to Rongelap Atoll, part of the Marshall Islands, as a means to keep tabs on the Ronald Reagan Missile Defense Test Site at the remote but strategically located Kwajalein Atoll.

Overall, China's motives in the North Pacific likely include a desire to drive a wedge between...
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