Taipei, Oct 7: Taiwan said on Monday China is exercising “authoritarian expansionism” in the Pacific, expressing worries whether the region will remain free and open, underlining reports of China’s plans of building a naval base in the Solomon Islands and reopening radar station in Kiribati.
“We have seen reports that China is interested in reopening this radar station in Kiribati, and building a naval base in Western Province of Solomon Islands,” foreign minister Joseph Wu told a conference held over cooperation among nations in the Pacific region.
“From the long-term strategic perspective, like-minded friends and partners should really be worried whether the Pacific will remain free and open, and whether the key actors follow the rules-based international order,” Wu added.
The Kiribati and Solomon Islands last month contested to recognize China, dropping democratic and self-ruled Taiwan, which Beijing claims its own territories with no state-to-state ties’ rights.
“I certainly don’t want to see the Pacific turned into another South China Sea, with us one day all sighing that it is too late for us to do anything,” Wu said, in reference to Chinese actions to develop military installations on islands and reefs in the strategic waters.