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- Beijing’s intimidation at Human Rights Council
- Taiwan lowers entry regulations
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The UN General Assembly is a good opportunity for high-level political talks. China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi used his stay in New York for a confidential meeting with his counterpart from the Solomon Islands. Relationship-building is important because China has a special interest in the Solomon Islands, as became very clear nearly five months ago when a security agreement between the two countries caused much discussion. A draft of the secret paper had been leaked to the public, which fueled suspicions that China might be planning to establish a permanent military presence in the island nation. Since then, it has become quiet around the matter. But it is a deceptive silence, analyzes Michael Radunski. He explains how the People’s Republic is continuously expanding its influence over the island nation.
China also exerts its influence all too eagerly at the UN Human Rights Council. Marcel Grzanna takes a look at the sometimes extremely dubious methods Beijing uses to prevent criticism. Do you know what “gongos” are? It sounds bizarre, and it is. “Governmental Organized Non-Governmental Organizations” are organizations funded, supported, or even founded by the state that seem to be independent, but in reality represent government interests. China has registered 40 such organizations for the UN Human Rights Council alone. And why? So that genuine non-governmental organizations will have fewer chances to use the sparse speaking time for criticism of the human rights situation in Xinjiang and other issues.
China’s growing influence in the South Pacific
World leaders are currently meeting in New York for the UN General Assembly. On Saturday, Foreign Minister Wang Yi will speak on behalf of China. But Wang has already been very active in the days leading up to his speech. On Wednesday, he met Jeremiah Manele, Foreign Minister of the Solomon Islands, for confidential talks. Wang praised China-Solomon Islands relations, highlighting the achievement of impressive results in the past three years. China has always been a trustworthy friend of the Solomon Islands, he said and will continue to help where it can.
Beijing praises self-determination of Solomon Islands
But this friendship has not existed all that long. China and the Solomon Islands have only had diplomatic relations since 2019. Beijing was not interested in the island state until Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare decided to end diplomatic relations with Taiwan.
In New York, Wang stressed that the facts show impressively that the decision to establish diplomatic relations between China and the Solomon Islands is already paying off. China appreciates the Solomon Island’s efforts to adhere to independence and self-determination and chooses its own development path, he said.