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 China Pacific Ocean influence infographic
Graphic shows details about Kiribati and Chinese influence in the Pacific.
GN45518ES

POLITICS

U.S. voices concern over Chinese police on Kiribati

February 28, 2024 - The U.S. has cautioned Pacific nations against assistance from Chinese security forces after reports that police from Beijing are working in the remote atoll nation of Kiribati.

Kiribati is a nation of 115,000 people whose closest island is 2,160 km (1,340 miles) south of Honolulu, and the news comes as Beijing renews a push to expand security ties in the Pacific Islands in an intensifying rivalry with the United States.

Kiribati is considered strategic not only given its relative proximity to Hawaii, but because it has one of world's biggest exclusive economic zones, covering more than 3.5 million square km (1.35 million square miles) of the Pacific.

It hosts a Japanese satellite tracking station and China has announced plans to rebuild a World War Two U.S. military airstrip on Kiribati's Kanton Island, prompting U.S. concern.

The United States countered with a pledge in October to upgrade the wharf on Kanton island, a former U.S. military base, and said it wants to open an embassy in Kiribati, Reuters said.

Sources
PUBLISHED: 28/02/2024; STORY: Graphic News
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