Cleo has just published an analysis of geopolitics in the Pacific for in Chatham House's magazine The World Today. You can see it online here. And below:
In early March, United States (US) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made unusually direct comments to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about America's position in the Pacific. "Let's just talk straight real politik. We are in competition with China," she said. All over the Pacific, China is trying to "come in behind us and come in under us."And it is working. China's influence in the island nations of the Pacific is growing dramatically, and the repercussions are global.
But the fault does not lie completely with the US, and the win is not completely China's. The door for China's dramatic increase in influence in the island nations of the Pacific was opened by decades of mismanagement of Pacific affairs by western allies Australia and New Zealand. And if the US and the west want to regain ground, the two Pacific partners are going to have to rethink how they engage with the region.
It should not have come to this.