State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (left) meets with Solomon Islands' Foreign Minister Jeremiah Manele in Honiara, capital of the Solomon Islands, on May 26, 2022. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
Belying the efforts of the United States and Australia to portray China as a rules-breaker coercing and bullying small countries, all the Pacific island countries State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi has visited so far during his 10-day Asia-Pacific tour have spoken highly of the fruitful outcomes of their cooperation with China.
While the two Anglo-Saxon nations have repeatedly issued warnings to the island countries that China is seeking to expand its influence in the region and tried to coerce them to snub it, the Pacific island nations have warmly welcomed Wang and expressed their common wish to him that their cooperation with China can extend to more fields.
While Washington has been sparing no efforts to smear China and its ruling party, none of the Pacific island countries have shown any willingness to buy what it is selling in that regard.
The Pacific island countries have all extolled their long history of friendly exchanges with China－which began before the US and Australia were even founded as nations－and China's contribution to regional stability and development. And they have all conveyed warm congratulations on the remarkable development achievements the Chinese people have made under the leadership of the Communist Party of China.
The US showed little concern for the plight of the Pacific island countries until the Solomon Islands signed a security agreement with China that Washington disingenuously interprets as a means for China to establish a de facto permanent military presence in the region. Now it is not only the bearer of gifts such as vaccines, it is also seeking to belatedly advance initiatives on climate, health and people-to-people ties.
The second China-Pacific Island Countries Foreign Ministers' Meeting that Wang presided over on Monday highlights the importance China attaches to its "time-honored friendship" with countries in the South Pacific.
As President Xi Jinping said in his message to the meeting, no matter how the international situation may change, China will always be a good friend, good brother and good partner of the Pacific island countries.
The fact sheet that China released last week serves as both a summary of China's long history of cooperation with the Pacific island countries and a pledge for the advancement of that cooperation in the future. The meeting itself is a new and important platform for both sides to strengthen dialogue, enhance mutual trust and promote cooperation.
Rather than letting the region be transformed into an arena for competition as the US proposes, the Pacific island countries should build on the solid legacy of South-South cooperation and make the region a stage for promoting North-South cooperation as well. China's cooperation with the Pacific island countries will not be disrupted by any country, nor does it seek to disrupt the ties that the island countries have established with other countries.
In this light, China is willing to carry out more tripartite cooperation with other countries, both inside and outside the region, for the good of the Asia-Pacific as a whole.