US opens embassy in Tonga, a new move to defy Chinese dominance

The United States of America has opened an official new  embassy in Tonga, which can be seen as America’s thumping effort to subvert the growing dominance of China around the Pacific.

Source: NBC news

The US States department spokesperson Mathew Millar notified in a statement  on Tuesday that the US has opened an embassy officially  in the Tongan capital Nuku’alofa. The statement by the spokesperson also stated that the opening of the US embassy in Tonga shows the strength of commitment and prosperity of bilateral relations between the people of the two countries and also the goodwill relations of US with Indo-Pacific nations. 

The talk about the opening of the US embassy in Tonga was first mentioned by Kamala Harris, the vice-President of the United States at a meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum. Mrs. Harris mentioned that the US will begin talks with Tongan government regarding the opening of the US embassy over there.

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The United States in its official statement has asserted that the opening of the US embassy in Tonga would facilitate the US government to deploy additional US personnel and resources to Tonga with a good chance of appointment of a resident ambassador to Tonga.

Source: The Hindustan Times

 The announcement also came after the recent announcement by the White House that President Joe Biden would soon be traveling to Papua New Guinea, making him the first ever sitting President of the United States to visit the nation. 

President Biden’s trip to Papua New Guinea would be done after the Group of Seven Leaders’ summit,  which is going to be held in Japan.   

But the real concern behind the US establishing an embassy in a South Pacific country is the expeditiously growing Chinese dominance over the Pacific region, which the US evidently seems to be haunted about.

The United States interest in the Pacific region

The opening of the embassy in Tongan capital, Nuku’alofa, is another effort by the US to increase its reach in the Pacific region after opening up its embassy in the Solomon Islands earlier this year in February.

The Solomon Island came as a great caution for the US after the former started engaging diplomatically with China. 

Despite concerns and cautions coming  from the US and its neighboring countries, i.e. New Zealand and Australia, the Solomon Islands went on to strike a security pact deal with China. This was seen as a cause of concern by the other countries as China could very likely try to build a naval base around the Island’s coast and exploit the region to its favor and to subsequently build its influence around the region.

Source: The Diplomat

Despite all the diplomatic pushback, the Solomon Island handed over its international port in Honiara for upgradation to a Chinese state company.

The United States has been trying to engage with the nations in the Pacific region to circumvent Chinese influence. The US has also been planning to develop its embassies in Vanuatu and Kiribati, the two Pacific nations. 

The US has also been trying to renew its agreements with the Marshall Islands, Palau and the Federal States of  Micronesia which will provide control of these countries’ defenses to the US and large swaths of the Pacific area under its access.  

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