“US signs security agreement with Micronesia to counter China’s influence in the Pacific”

By Le Figaro with AFP

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Anthony Blinken, US Secretary of State on May 23, 2023. KEVIN MOHATT / REUTERS

The United States announced on Wednesday that it had signed a security agreement with the Federated States of Micronesia located in the Pacific, where Washington seeks to counter the influence of China. Three documents have been signed on Pohnpei Island, according to US State Department officials, renewing a 20-year-old agreement that gave Micronesia security guarantees until today. and budget.

In exchange, Washington has obtained a new military base in this area of ​​the Pacific, where the United States will be able to set up military bases there.

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Chinese competition in the Pacific

Micronesia, which has some 100,000 inhabitants, is the ally of Washington, with which it has maintained close ties since its independence in 1986. Competition between the United States and China in the Pacific has increased as Beijing is seeking to expand its influence in this strategic region.

In March, the outgoing President of the Federated States of Micronesia, David Panuelo, had also accused China of carrying out a “political battlein his country and to resort to corruption and harassment, in an inflammatory letter addressed to Parliament. For its part, the United States has concluded similar agreements with other islands in the region, the Marshalls and Palau, but all expire by the end of 2023.

American nuclear tests

While Micronesia and Palau have renewed their cooperation with Washington, discussions with the Marshall Islands have stumbled over the heavy legacy of American nuclear tests. The Marshall Islands negotiators want Washington to speed up the payment of compensation for the consequences of the American tests.

According to a decision of the International Nuclear Claims Tribunal, the United States is obliged to pay more than 3 billion dollars (2.7 million euros) to the Marshall Islands, which have so far collected only 270 million dollars (250 million euros). Between 1946 and 1958, Washington carried out a total of 67 nuclear tests in the Marshall Islands, with disastrous consequences for the environment and the health of the inhabitants of the archipelago.

2023-05-24 06:25:24

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