The United States, Japan, Australia and India have agreed to launch a system to track illegal fishing from China

The United States, Japan, Australia and India have agreed to launch a system to track illegal fishing from China

(EFE/José Jácome/File)

The United States, Japan, Australia and India will present a maritime initiative to combat illegal fishing in the Indo-Pacific next Tuesdaya US official said, in the latest effort by the Quadrilateral Dialogue Association “Quad” to counter Chinese activity in the region.

President Joe Biden and the other “Quad” leaders – Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and newly elected Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese – will announce the initiative at a summit in Tokyo, a- he confirmed to The Financial Times the official, who claimed that China is responsible for 95% of illegal fishing in the Indo-Pacific.

According to the official, The initiative will use satellite technology to connect existing monitoring centers in Singapore, India and the Pacific to create a system to monitor illegal fishing from the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia to the Pacific. South.

The system will allow the United States and its partners to monitor illegal fishing even when fishing vessels have turned off their transponders. which are often used to track maritime vessels.

U.S. President Joe Biden arrives aboard Air Force One at U.S. Yokota Air Base in Fussa outside Tokyo, Japan May 22, 2022. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
U.S. President Joe Biden arrives aboard Air Force One at U.S. Yokota Air Base in Fussa outside Tokyo, Japan May 22, 2022. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

“We will provide a global capability that will link systems together to be able to track illegal browsing for the first time,” the official said. “China has become the biggest perpetrator of illegal fishing in the world,” said Charles Edel, Australia’s CSIS chair, a prestigious Thinktank. “They have dramatically depleted fish stocks globally and undermined traditional livelihoods in many countries, so any action taken to track, identify and curb this activity would have environmental and security benefits for the region” .

The United States believes that The initiative is part of a broader strategy to reduce the growing dependence on China of several small island nations in the Pacific. “The United States has tools, and collectively others have, that can help them get what they want,” the official said. “What most of them want is not a military base with the PRC.”

The other official said the United States was developing a multi-faceted strategy ranging from increased commitment to aid in the fight against climate change, which poses an existential threat to some Pacific island countries.

He said that The United States, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and France will soon launch an initiative called “Pacific Partners” to help Pacific island states. The official added that the United States also speaks in Fiji so that it fits “more tightly into the emerging economic architecture that the United States is designing”. Biden will launch an “Indo-Pacific Economic Framework” on Monday to strengthen economic engagement with countries in Asia.

The new maritime initiative comes at a time when the United States and its allies fear that Beijing is negotiating a security pact with Kiribati, a 33-island nation that stretches some 3,000 km on the boundary line between the North Pacific and the South Pacific.the Financial Times reported on Friday.

File photo of China's Xi Jinping (REUTERS/Anthony Wallace)
File photo of China’s Xi Jinping (REUTERS/Anthony Wallace)

The United States became alarmed this year when China signed a security pact with the Solomon Islands. Some experts believe this could pave the way for China to build a naval base and project its power in the Pacific.

Gregory Poling, head of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative at CSIS, said thatChinese military access to Kiritimati (Christmas Island) or other islands east of Kiribati would be far more serious than to the Solomons. “Not only are they relatively close to Hawaii, but under the Treaty of Tarawa, the United States has agreed to relinquish its claims to these islands on the condition that Kiribati will not allow any third parties to build on them without consulting the United States. United.” Polling said.

Speaking about China’s efforts to bring Pacific island nations together, the top US official said they marked a much more ambitious strategy that required Washington to “step up our game”.

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