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Annual Report on Development of Pacific Island Countries (2021)


By:Dezheng Chen, Shaofeng Zhao

Publisher:Social Sciences Academic Press


Publication Date:2022-04-07


Paper book:US $
Ebook:US $
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2157 1000

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In 2020,the Pacific island countries continued to maintain a generally stable political situation. Elections were held in Vanuatu,Niue,Kiribati and Palau. The election process was generally smooth,and some island countries governments changed. Influenced by travel ban,trade restrictions transport disruption and so on,Pacific island countries have experienced extreme challenges of “broken” supply chains and industrial chains,and their economic and social development has fallen into a difficult moment. These countries faced with a sharp downturn in economic development and rising of unemployment. Therefore,expanding and developing financing channels and striving for vaccine aid have become important diplomatic tasks of Pacific island countries. Because of economy dominated by international tourism,the governments have adopted price competition,overseas marketing,industry consolidation,safety guarantee and other active coping strategies to recovery the tourism. However,due to the high uncertainty of the epidemic situation,the restart time of international tourism in this area is still unknown. In terms of regional development,with the development of the three sub-regional organizations of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG),the Polynesian Leaders Group (PLG) and the Micronesian Presidential Summit (MPS),the disputes between the Pacific island countries on the selection of the secretary general of the Pacific Island Forum have put PIF in danger of division. Although there are many challenges in 2020,it is worth noting that on December 4,2020,the United Nations announced that Vanuatu had “graduated” from the list of least developed countries. In the same year,Vanuatu National University was also officially inaugurated.

In recent years,under the background of the comprehensive strategic competition launched by the United States,the Pacific island region is regarded by the United States as a key area for the power game with China. Although the policy directions and methods of the Trump and Biden administration are difference,the interests of the two administrations in the Pacific island countries are continuous and consistent. Japan has made some adjustments in the foreign policy and the types of aid in this region. The outbreak of the COVID-19 has affected the mutually beneficial economic and trade cooperation between China and Pacific island countries. However,China and most of the Pacific island countries have supported and helped each other,deepened mutual understanding and further strengthened bilateral relations.

While the epidemic has not stopped,Pacific island countries should continue to promote the “Blue Pacific” development plan,implement the “Looking North” strategy,continue to pay attention to climate change,and build consensus through the formulation of the “2050 Strategy of the Blue Pacific Continent”.