Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s recent South Pacific tour put the region in play as the latest venue for Great Power political rivalries. But even though the ten Pacific Island Countries (PIC) are among the smallest in the world, they came together as a block and dealt Wang a very rare diplomatic defeat when they rebuffed his wide-ranging security and development proposal.
Tim Bryar, founder and editor of the blog Oceania Hypothesis, joins Eric & Cobus to discuss why China is now so keen on expanding its influence in the South Pacific and how he thinks the legacy powers in the United States, New Zealand, and Australia will respond.
- The New York Times: Why China Is Miles Ahead in a Pacific Race for Influence by Damien Cave
- Nikkei Asia: China loses its way in the South Pacific by Michael Field
- Al Jazeera: China, Pacific islands fail to reach consensus on security pact
Timothy Bryar is a thought leader with a solid history of leading geopolitical analysis, research, and policy outreach, including forging regional alliances, strengthening partnerships, and aligning dynamics. Building expansive networks, including government, non-government organizations and the corporate sector, while having a strong familiarity with contemporary challenges in the Pacific Islands region. He also served as the Lead Adviser in the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) for developing and expanding the concept of the Blue Pacific as a collective political strategy, leading to its endorsement by Forum Leaders in 2017 up to a Leaders agreement to develop a 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific.