China is interested in a lot more than just the first or second island chain. In the vast reaches of the Pacific Ocean, the islands of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia are critical to the sea lines of communication for the economic powerhouses on both sides.
From the Age of Discovery to today, their importance rises to the top of any power who wished to influence the area.
To look at this area of returning importance with us for the full hour will be Alexander B. Gray.
The starting point for our conversation will be the issues he raised in two recent articles; How the US Can Protect the Sovereignty of the Smallest Pacific Islands in The Diplomat, and Why a Crisis in the Pacific islands Matters for Washington and Beijing in The Hill.
Alex is a Senior Fellow in National Security Affairs at the American Foreign Policy Council, served as Director for Oceania & Indo-Pacific Security at the White House National Security Council from 2018-2019.