Journal : Global Times (Chinese) Date : Author : NA Page No. : 3

Our correspondent in Australia, Li Feng

“Macron cautions against China dominating India”, AFP reported on the 2nd, saying that French President Macron, who is visiting Australia, responded to Australian Prime Minister Turnbull’s watchfulness against China the same day, saying that no country will be allowed to dominate India. The Australian newspaper reported that Macron had vowed to work with Australia to establish a new strategic “axis” in the Indo-Pacific region to balance China’s emergence in the region.

Macron made the above promise at a news conference after the meeting with the Prime Minister of Australia, Turnbull. Turnbull stated at the press conference that ……. big fish cannot eat small fish, and small fish cannot eat shrimps and that this is crucial in international relations. In response to Turnbull’s remarks, Macron said that no country can be allowed to dominate the Indo-Pacific region. France, Australia, and democratic India have a responsibility to jointly defend the region against “hegemony”.

The Australian newspaper said on the 2nd that leaders of the two countries praised the new strategic partnership between Australia and France and warned China not to undermine long-term peace in the region. AFP commented that France has territory in the Pacific, and Australia is increasingly alert to China’s influence in the South Pacific region and believes that “it may undermine the strategic balance in the region”. The two countries can be described as having “congruent interests” in countering China’s influence on the South Pacific island nations.

Before this meeting, the Australian media had begun to hot up. One Australian newspaper published an exclusive report on the 1st that politicians in the Solomon Islands and Australian commercial interest groups have approached Chinese investors for building a new airport and maintenance facilities on the island of Guadalcanal in this Pacific island nation. . This might threaten Australia’s strategic presence in the Pacific. This move has once again drawn the attention of the outside world to the strategic aspect of China’s investment in Pacific island countries. In reporting the incident, the newspaper also mentioned that the government of French Polynesia formally approved last month the construction of a Chinese fish farm with an investment of US$320 million, including reconstruction of a worn-out former military airport.

The newspaper said that the parties have held several rounds of talks on the new airport project, including talks held in Nadi, Fiji.  A social media post on António Vic, the Governor of Guadalcanal, published reveals several trips to China by him, including to Guangzhou. Sources said that the trip was to meet with investors.

As to the so-called “strategic threat” bandied around in the Australian media, Anthony Vic 2 was clear  as the rising Sun. In an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, he said that he was negotiating with Chinese and Australian investors and went to China to attend a meeting on the project. He said that the project is still in its early stages and does not pose a threat to the interests of Australia. “This is just commercial activity. We are dealing with investors who wish to develop the Guadalcanal economy. I do not think this is a threat to anyone because we are working on an investment plan that will benefit the Solomon Islands”.

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