Some fear China could win from US spat with Marshall Islands πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) β€” For decades, the tiny Marshall Islands has been a stalwart American ally. Its location in the middle of the Pacific Ocean has made it a key strategic outpost for the U.S. military.

But that loyalty is being tested amid a dispute with Washington over the terms of its β€œCompact of Free Association” agreement, which expires soon. The U.S. is refusing to engage the Marshallese on claims for environmental and health damage caused by dozens of nuclear tests it carried out in the 1940s and ’50s, including a huge thermonuclear blast on Bikini Atoll.

The dispute has some U.S. lawmakers worried that China might be willing to step into the breach, adding to a bruising competition for geopolitical dominance between the two superpowers.

Since World War II, the U.S. has treated the Marshall Islands, along with Micronesia and Palau, much like territories. On the Marshall Islands, the U.S. has developed military, intelligence and aerospace facilities in a region where China is particularly active.


In turn, U.S. money and jobs have benefited the Marshall Islands’ economy. And many Marshallese have taken advantage of their ability to live and work in the U.S., moving in the thousands to Arkansas, Hawaii and Oklahoma.

But this month, 10 Democratic and Republican members of the House of Representatives wrote to President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, about the U.S. compact talks with the Marshalls, Micronesia and Palau.

β€œIt is distressing that these negotiations do not appear to be a priority β€” there have been no formal meetings since this Administration began β€” even as our international focus continues shifting to the Indo-Pacific,” they wrote.

The lawmakers said the delays were putting the U.S. in a weaker position, and β€œChina is all too ready to step in and provide the desperately needed infrastructure and climate resiliency investment that is sought by these long-time partners.”

Some fear China could win from US spat with Marshall Islands

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