Samoa, the 29th smallest country in the world, located a little away from Australia, has dealt a blow to China. The Prime Minister of Samoa has confirmed that he has decided to cancel the port project being built with Chinese money. China’s dream was to capture a major trade route to the Pacific Ocean via Samoa. He was also trying to challenge American dominance in the Pacific Ocean with the help of this port. To the west of Samoa is the island of American Samoa, where US Navy warships are always stationed.
Samoa became the pawn between America and China
Samoa remains a pawn between the world’s two superpowers, America and China. If China’s influence in Samoa increases due to American Samoa, then it will be a direct threat to Washington. In such a situation, Samoa’s new Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Matafa has indicated that she will only allow investments that have a clear benefit for her country. It is also being said that China’s investment in Samoa has not been completely stopped.
China got a chance due to American apathy
In the midst of the ongoing political crisis in Samoa, PM Matafa said that China’s interest has increased due to America’s distance from this region of the Pacific Ocean. He said that China is showing a renewed interest in the Pacific, which can be a good thing, but it is not necessarily so. Samoa tourism, fish, coconut products are dependent on exports. People here send a large amount of money to Samoa by doing jobs in countries around the world.
Samoa’s importance increased after World War II
During the Second World War, Samoa’s strategic influence surprised all the major countries of the world. This is the reason that whenever China has tried to interfere in this country, then America and its allies have protested. Any foreign country’s share in critical infrastructure such as ports and airstrips in this country is considered particularly sensitive.
Why does China want to interfere in Samoa?
The area of Samoa is 2842 km square, while the area of Hong Kong is 2754 km square. Due to the important strategic position in the Pacific Ocean, China is working day and night to increase its influence in this country. China also has disputes with Australia. In such a situation, if Samoa is also made its disciple by giving loan to China like Sri Lanka and Pakistan, then it will be considered as its big diplomatic success.
China’s share of Samoa’s total debt is 40 percent
China accounts for 40 percent of the debt Samoa has taken from around the world. China has lent about $160 million to Samoa. In the past, many experts have expressed concern about the Chinese loan being given to Samoa. Matafa was recognized as the first female prime minister of Samoa on 23 July.
[Attribution to NBT]