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  • Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Peter O' Neill, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison, New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe applaud during the signing of a joint electricity deal between Australia, Japan, New Zealand, United States for Papua New Guinea, during the APEC Summit in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea November 18, 2018. REUTERS/David Gray.

    Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Peter O' Neill, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison, New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe applaud during the signing of a joint electricity deal between Australia, Japan, New Zealand, United States for Papua New Guinea, during the APEC Summit in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea November 18, 2018. REUTERS/David Gray. | Photo: Reuters file

Published 19 November 2018
Opinion

The United States and Australia redevelop a joint naval base in Papua Guinea to 'check' China's influence in the region.

Over the weekend, the Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence, announced a joint collaboration between his country and Australia on the Manus Naval Base, to host more warships in the Pacific. 

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"We will work with these nations to protect the sovereignty and martimime routes of Pacific Island nations," stated Pence.

For his part, president Xi Jinping stated earlier at the summit, "Attempts to form exclusive blocs or impose one's will on others should be rejected," to which he added, "History has shown that confrontation, whether in the form of a cold war, a hot war or a trade war, will produce no winners," according to Bloomberg.

The announcement regarding the collaboration on the Lombrum base located in the Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, came toward the end of the Asia-Pacific Cooperation (APEC) summit, marked by tensions between China and the United States.

Japan's president, Shinzo Abe, also announced prior in the conference, that his country would support infrastructure building in the region. "It is clear the positioning of Australia, Japan and the US is aimed to check China's influence," according to the Guardian. 

Pence's positions regarding matters on the region have widely varied during the short time at the summit, "empire and agression have no place," stated the leader just a few days prior to the announcement that he is willing to collaborate with Australia on stregthening military capabilities, allegedly, to protect the "sovereingty" of small island nations. 

In context, both the United States and China have been engaged in a trade war started at the behest of President Donald Trump, which has been intensifying as both nations continue to take retaliatory tariffs against one another. 

    

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