Biden To Host First-ever US-Pacific Island Country Summit Amid China’s Military Buildup

The United States stated that it will organise the first-ever US-Pacific Island Country Summit in the last week of this month in response to China’s expanding influence in the Indo-Pacific area. The Biden administration announced on Friday that the Summit will take place in Washington from September 28 to 29. The Summit will be hosted by US Vice President Joe Biden, according to the White House. According to a statement released by the White House on Friday, “the Summit will underscore the United States’ strong and enduring connection with Pacific Island countries and the Pacific region that is supported by shared history, values, and people-to-people ties.”

The US deemed the approaching Summit crucial because to its widening and strengthening collaboration on important problems such establishing a free and open Indo-Pacific and responding to pandemics, climate change, economic recovery, maritime security, and environmental protection. Notably, the declaration came a week after Washington accused Beijing of increasing its nuclear arsenal and warned that the excessive buildup may jeopardise the Indo-Pacific region’s stability. Last week, US Indo-Pacific Commander Admiral John Aquilino said that China was the only nation that was increasing the size of its nuclear arsenal and that it has “300 nuclear silos going in.”

US calls China’s military buildup in Indo-Pacific ‘the largest since World War II

Furthermore, Admiral John Aquilino stated definitely that China’s military expansion after World War II is “the biggest in history.” All you have to do, he insisted, is look into the PRC (People’s Republic of China) if you want to speak about nuclear weapons and the fear of a nuclear arms race. The top defence official asserted that, depending on the rate of President Xi Jinping’s nuclear development, China might have up to 700 deliverable nuclear weapons by 2027, citing a recent assessment issued by the US Department of Defense. According to the research, China may have at least 1,000 warheads by 2030, surpassing the US’s initial forecast for 2020.With the creation of a nuclear-capable air-launched ballistic missile (ALBM) and the development of its ground- and sea-based nuclear capabilities, the PRC has already created an embryonic “nuclear triad,” according to a study from the US Department of Defense.

During the Twelfth Annual South China Sea Conference held in Washington last month, Ely Ratner, assistant secretary of defence for Indo-Pacific security affairs, voiced a similar sentiment. He claimed China was escalating its provocations in the South China Sea and warned that this would cause a serious event in the area that is under dispute.

On the other side, China expressed great worry about the AUKUS accord and warned that it would jeopardise regional peace and security by escalating regional tension, sparking an arms race.

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