Vanuatu Takes Pro-Beijing Stance Calling Taiwan an ‘Inalienable Part of China’

The government of Pacific nation Vanuatu has thrown its support behind the One China policy following U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.The overt declaration comes amid ongoing concerns of Beijing’s strong influence in the South Pacific and the threat of conflict around the Taiwan Strait. On Aug. 5, Silas Bule, the acting minister of Foreign Affairs for the Vanuatu government, issued a statement saying: “The One China Policy is an important pillar of Vanuatu’s foreign policy, and the cornerstone of China-Vanuatu relationship and comprehensive strategic partnership. “To that end, and in light of recent developments surrounding Taiwan, Vanuatu reiterates Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory.” Most nations have adopted a policy of “strategic ambiguity” towards Taiwan to avoid aggravating the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which regards the island as a part of its territory—despite Taiwan running its own independent economy, society, and democratically elected system of government for over 70 years now. Bule’s comments come after Speaker Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) visit to Taiwan, which drew international attention and threats of military action from Beijing—thus far, the Chinese military has tested missiles in the surrounding region. Yet Antonio Graceffo, an economics professor and China analyst, said the speaker’s visit sent a “clear message” that U.S. foreign policy would be determined by Washington D.C., and not the interests of the CCP. “The CCP is now left with no better options than issuing strongly-worded protests and more idle threats, transforming them from a want-to-be world power to a mouse that roared,” he wrote in an op-ed for The Epoch Times. Pro-Beijing Pacific Leaders Emboldened by CCP Meanwhile, Vanuatu’s support comes amid another strategic tug-of-war between Beijing and democratic nations—this time in the South Pacific. Vanuatu Prime Minister Bob Loughman is one of several Pacific leaders happy to walk a diplomatic tightrope and maintain close ties with Beijing and democratic nations—while receiving aid and development funding from both. The situation has encouraged Loughman to make moves to solidify his position, including a failed bid to extend term limits and allow foreign nationals to hold office in Vanuatu—there are currently a high number of Chinese nationals in the country. A similar pattern has played out in the Solomon Islands with Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare steadily chipping away at the nation’s democratic institutions. In late July, it was revealed that the prime minister forced the national radio broadcaster, the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation, to self-censor and stop publishing content critical of his government. All these political moves form part of a greater strategy underway by the CCP called “entropic warfare,” according to South Pacific expert Cleo Paskal. She said the CCP has steadily deployed all means possible to destabilise the democratic institutions of Pacific nations, with the ultimate goal of creating a “new order” centred on its own interests. “Those weapons are used to weaken the target country from the inside and to fragment and create disorder in the target country so that it is less able to withstand Chinese influence,” Paskal previously told The Epoch Times. “That process of creating instability and fragmentation can be described as creating a state of ‘entropy’—of political, social, and economic entropy—where things start to just break down. And in that state of disorder, China can create a new order with itself and its proxies at the centre.” Follow Daniel Y. Teng is based in Sydney. He focuses on national affairs including federal politics, COVID-19 response, and Australia-China relations. Got a tip? Contact him at [email protected]

Vanuatu Takes Pro-Beijing Stance Calling Taiwan an ‘Inalienable Part of China’

The government of Pacific nation Vanuatu has thrown its support behind the One China policy following U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.

The overt declaration comes amid ongoing concerns of Beijing’s strong influence in the South Pacific and the threat of conflict around the Taiwan Strait.

On Aug. 5, Silas Bule, the acting minister of Foreign Affairs for the Vanuatu government, issued a statement saying: “The One China Policy is an important pillar of Vanuatu’s foreign policy, and the cornerstone of China-Vanuatu relationship and comprehensive strategic partnership.

“To that end, and in light of recent developments surrounding Taiwan, Vanuatu reiterates Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory.”

Most nations have adopted a policy of “strategic ambiguity” towards Taiwan to avoid aggravating the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which regards the island as a part of its territory—despite Taiwan running its own independent economy, society, and democratically elected system of government for over 70 years now.

Bule’s comments come after Speaker Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) visit to Taiwan, which drew international attention and threats of military action from Beijing—thus far, the Chinese military has tested missiles in the surrounding region.

Yet Antonio Graceffo, an economics professor and China analyst, said the speaker’s visit sent a “clear message” that U.S. foreign policy would be determined by Washington D.C., and not the interests of the CCP.

“The CCP is now left with no better options than issuing strongly-worded protests and more idle threats, transforming them from a want-to-be world power to a mouse that roared,” he wrote in an op-ed for The Epoch Times.

Pro-Beijing Pacific Leaders Emboldened by CCP

Meanwhile, Vanuatu’s support comes amid another strategic tug-of-war between Beijing and democratic nations—this time in the South Pacific.

Vanuatu Prime Minister Bob Loughman is one of several Pacific leaders happy to walk a diplomatic tightrope and maintain close ties with Beijing and democratic nations—while receiving aid and development funding from both.

The situation has encouraged Loughman to make moves to solidify his position, including a failed bid to extend term limits and allow foreign nationals to hold office in Vanuatu—there are currently a high number of Chinese nationals in the country.

A similar pattern has played out in the Solomon Islands with Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare steadily chipping away at the nation’s democratic institutions.

In late July, it was revealed that the prime minister forced the national radio broadcaster, the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation, to self-censor and stop publishing content critical of his government.

All these political moves form part of a greater strategy underway by the CCP called “entropic warfare,” according to South Pacific expert Cleo Paskal.

She said the CCP has steadily deployed all means possible to destabilise the democratic institutions of Pacific nations, with the ultimate goal of creating a “new order” centred on its own interests.

“Those weapons are used to weaken the target country from the inside and to fragment and create disorder in the target country so that it is less able to withstand Chinese influence,” Paskal previously told The Epoch Times.

“That process of creating instability and fragmentation can be described as creating a state of ‘entropy’—of political, social, and economic entropy—where things start to just break down. And in that state of disorder, China can create a new order with itself and its proxies at the centre.”


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Daniel Y. Teng is based in Sydney. He focuses on national affairs including federal politics, COVID-19 response, and Australia-China relations. Got a tip? Contact him at [email protected]