China now weaker than anytime in recent years as economy drop threatens Xi power

Chinese economy is in 'bad shape' says Asia expert

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The President of the Asia Centre, Jean-Francois Di Meglio has called on the United States to exert pressure on China in the South Pacific while Xi Jinping is overseeing an economy that is in “bad shape.” Mr Di Meglio believes that despite Beijing’s aggressive power projection in the region, and positioning over the Solomon Islands, Xi’ China is actually weaker “than any time in the very last years.”

Mr Di Meglio told France24: “Even though you mentioned that China is now positioning itself in the Solomon Islands and China might seem more aggressive in the region.

“It’s a moment where China is weaker than any time in the very last years.

“Because the Chinese economy as was rightly mentioned earlier, in your news is bad, very bad shape.

“So it’s probably the right time to take a stance which is much more aggressive with China, especially showing US allies that they are there.”

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China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday urged the Pacific region not to be “too anxious” about his country’s aims after a meeting with his counterparts from 10 island nations deferred consideration of a sweeping trade and security communique.

Wang hosted the video meeting with foreign ministers from Pacific island nations with diplomatic ties with China midway through a tour of the region where Beijing’s ambitions for wider security ties has caused concern among U.S. allies.

A draft communique and five-year action plan sent by China to the invited nations ahead of the meeting showed China was seeking a sweeping regional trade and security agreement.

But the draft communique, first reported by Reuters, prompted opposition from at least one of the invited nations, the Federated States of Micronesia, according to a letter leaked last week. 

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After the meeting, which included Samoa, Tonga, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Niue, and Vanuatu, Wang said further discussions were needed to shape more consensus.

“China will release its own position paper on our own positions and propositions and cooperation proposals with Pacific island countries, and going forward we will continue to have ongoing and in-depth discussions and consultations to shape more consensus on cooperation,” he told reporters in Fiji.

Wang said some had questioned China’s motives for being so active in the Pacific islands, and his response was China supported developing countries in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean also.

“Don’t be too anxious and don’t be too nervous, because the common development and prosperity of China and all the other developing countries would only mean great harmony, greater justice, and greater progress of the whole world,” he said.

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China’s ambassador to Fiji, Qian Bo, said while answering questions after the briefing that participants had agreed to discuss the draft communique and the five-year plan “until we have reached an agreement.”

“There has been general support from the 10 countries with which we have diplomatic relations, but of course, there are some concerns on some specific issues.”

He didn’t identify the areas of concern.

The United States, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand have expressed concerns about a security pact signed by the Solomon Islands with China last month, saying it had regional consequences and could lead to a Chinese military presence close to Australia and in a strategic position in the Pacific.

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