Guam – Guam Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo says China is posing new challenges to the U.S. in the Pacific.
HEAR Matt Kaye’s report HERE>>>01-25 bordalloyapmouobamasou.mp3
Bordallo says a China-Yap deal to fund a huge resort there, is another sign of Beijing’s bid to expand its Pacific influence. “I see evidence of interest of the Chinese in the Micronesian islands and I’m not pleased with that, at all.”
It is something Bordallo says she routinely points out to DoD officials and colleagues on the House Armed Services Committee. And she says it is a reason to continue the build-up and finally approve an extension of the U.S. – Palau compact.
But Bordallo does not see a link between Chinese visitor security in the FSM and that for a Guam Visa-Waiver.
“I told this to DHS right now we have a Visa-Waiver with Hong Kong, Hong Kong belongs to China. Now, how do you answer that one?” DHS doesn’t, but Borallo says DHS’s reason is likely still ‘security.’
Bordallo spoke just hours ahead of President Obama’s State of the Union address. “He may mention it tonight, in his State of the Union, that he is looking at the Pacific-Asia area with great interest, now.”
Both on military posture and expanded tourism, Bordallo says the key now for unfreezing the Guam build-up is getting DoD to finalize build-up plans and show realignment progress in Okinawa.
The Congresswoman predicts that will happen, before Congress completes work on the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act.
Separately, Bordallo says Obama has been good to Guam, backing the build-up and approving a Russia Visa Waiver. And he deserves four-more years in office, though she echos the disappointment of many in Guam on one issue: “Our people are disappointed, they want to see the President. And he told me, I asked him, again, I said, “Mr. President, you must come to Guam before the election.” So, he said, he’s certainly going to try his best.”
The healthcare reform fight, here and the gulf oil spill shelved earlier trips, while a very brief fuel stop on Guam upset many.