SUVA (ABC) — The election of Joe Biden as the next U.S President will see a shift in American politics, in both style and key policies, with the President elect already promising to rejoin the Paris climate agreement.
That stance was noted by Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama when he became the first leader in the world to publicly congratulate the President-elect at the weekend, before media networks had officially called the election win.
But many experts don’t believe there’ll be a major shift in the U.S’ focus on security issues and competition from China in the Pacific under a Biden administration.
“The fact that this new administration is expected to work more closely with allies, and with partners, to promote a more multilateral and collaborative approach to dealing with challenges, particularly climate change, I think this will be very welcomed in the Pacific, and I think a change of both substance and style on these key issues,” Dr Sandra Tarte, the Head of Politics and International Affairs at the University of the South Pacific said.
“But at the same time, I think we would expect to see a lot of continuity as far as the bilateral relationships and probably the regional engagement by the U.S on substantive issues such as security”.
Dr Tarte expects the Biden administration will continue to see China as a “strategic competitor”.
“The Pacific will continue to be viewed as part of this contest for influence, and I think under the Biden administration, what we’ll see is a continuation of support for the region, particularly on security matters, maritime security for example,” she said.
But she also predicts the U.S will step up its support of ally Taiwan “because the U.S has been quite anxious about the way that certain allies have switched to China and they would like to continue to see those remaining allies, Tuvalu, RMI, Palau and Nauru, stay with Taiwan, said Dr Tarte…… PACNEWS