by WorldTribune Staff, February 9, 2023
U.S. military vessels are quietly being blocked by pro-China elements out of some Pacific islands ports, a report said.
On Jan. 26, Vanuatu failed to issue clearance for the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Juniper to enter Port Vila, Cleo Paskal reported for The Sunday Guardian.
The Juniper, running out of fuel and unable to continue waiting, diverted to Fiji instead.
In August, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Henry, which was also on a fisheries patrol, was denied entry to refuel in the Solomon Islands.
After blocking all foreign naval port visits, the Solomon Islands said it would allow in Australian and New Zealand vessels but, as of last reporting, the U.S. is still blocked (as is Japan, India, and everyone else).
“In both cases, national governments are blaming overwhelmed domestic bureaucracies. However, that rings hollow, given: The high-profile nature of the incidents. The subsequent lack of effort to correct the issue (indeed doubling down in the case of Solomons). The fact these patrols are for something all the countries in the region say they want (help with illegal fishing),” Paskal reports.
“Additionally, both countries seem to have strong pro-PRC elements, with Solomon Islands having signed a security agreement with China, and possibly Vanuatu did as well.”
Meanwhile, Paskal added that “lack of refueling ports is stretching the U.S.’s thin naval capabilities even further, and allowing illegal Chinese fishing fleets even greater unrestricted access to the stocks of undefended nations. Not to mention PRC political warfare gains that can translate into positioning advantages in advance of kinetic activity.”
“Perhaps not coincidentally, Solomons is also home to the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency. PRC political warfare predictably targets and tries to weaken regional organizations that create cohesion and threaten its interests,” Paskal wrote.
Action . . . . Intelligence . . . . Publish
You must be logged in to post a comment Login