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Where Does Washington Go After Syria - To The Orient

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  • reynolds
    Senior Member
    • Oct 2018
    • 1853

    Where Does Washington Go After Syria - To The Orient

    Here’s where Washington’s focus will shift to after Syria
    October 20th, 2019




    The reason the US might be (at least, on the face of it) caring less about the Middle East and the situation in Syria is that Washington has a new priority theater it is allocating its time and resources to focus on: the Indo Pacific. The latest outcry appears to be another kink in a longer chain regarding Beijing’s actions in the Pacific and the wider question of the future of Taiwan. According to reports, China has agreed to fund a multi-million-dollar stadium in the Solomon Islands for the 2023 Pacific Games in its capital, Honiara. Just recently, the Solomon Islands cut ties with Taiwan in exchange for funding from Beijing ($730 million according to some reports). Kiribati followed suit shortly after, leaving Taiwan with just 15 full diplomatic allies. One would have to think that, given Beijing’s mounting influence and the sorts of packages being offered, that perhaps Tuvalu and the other remaining three Pacific states would not be far behind.

    In a bid to bolster support and reassurance for Taiwan, the US, Taiwan and the remaining Pacific Island states held a Pacific Islands Dialogue in Taipei shortly after. Funnily enough, the US called Taiwan a long-time friend of Washington and said theyfirmly support Taiwan’s relationship with Pacific Island nations. Then again, it could just be a matter of time until this is shaken up. Following Beijing’s success in this region over the last few weeks, the government has seen fit to send the third-ranked Vice-Premier Hu Chunua to the forum. As the Australian Lowy Institute program director Jonathan Pryke said: “It’s a big deal that such a senior Chinese official is heading to the region, and I would expect him to not come empty-handed. China believes, whether rightly or wrongly, that the world is moving away from an increasingly unpopular unipolar system previously led by the US. While Beijing’s influence is spreading throughout the Middle East, Africa, and even South America, the fastest way to erode American hegemony is more than likely through the Indo-Pacific theater.

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