As the Biden administration confronts China’s growing assertiveness, the challenges confronting the smallest Pacific Islands should be front of mind.
By Alexander B. Gray
As the Biden presidency crosses the symbolic 100-day threshold, China’s predations across the Indo-Pacific are growing almost daily. In the South China Sea, over 200 Chinese fishing vessels refused to leave Philippine waters for weeks in a transparent effort to press Beijing’s sovereignty claims there. Chinese aircraft are regularly setting records for the scale of their encroachment into Taiwanese airspace. A new, Chinese-produced map doubles down on the country’s claim to the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands. And Beijing’s appetite for economic pressure tactics, extending to goods as diverse as Australian wine and Taiwanese pineapples, shows no sign of abating.