Foreign affairs & defence Feed

Australia & China both mistaken in PNG

CAROLYN BLACKLOCK*
| Pearls & Irritations | Republished from The Diplomat

Illustration by China Times
Illustration from The China Times

PORT MORESBY - While Australia and China have very different approaches in Papua New Guinea, both are working primarily with political elites - and alienating the PNG public.

Two recent financial deals that seemingly benefit PNG indicate the problems at the heart of the country’s political and economic outlook.

Continue reading "Australia & China both mistaken in PNG" »


Why Biden’s ‘cannibal’ story was misinformed

PATRICK KAIKU

Papua New Guinean boatmen transport Allied supplies in World War II (US Library of Congress)
Papua New Guinean boatmen transport Allied supplies in World War II (US Library of Congress)

WAIGANI - After a visit to the Veteran’s War Memorial in Scranton, Pennsylvania, on 17 April, president Joe Biden gave a speech to a crowd of supporters.

Attempting to personalise his family’s life story within the larger narrative of his country’s wartime sacrifices, he made passing reference to Ambrose Finnegan, his uncle who served in the Pacific theatre of World War II.

Continue reading "Why Biden’s ‘cannibal’ story was misinformed" »


Belden Namah calls for apology from Biden

MEDIA STATEMENT
| Thanks to Academia Nomad

Namah Marape (One Papua New Guinea)
Belden Namah chastises James Marape for being too weak on Biden cannibal comments (One Papua New Guinea)

 PORT MORESBY - The chairman of Papua New Guinea’s parliamentary committee on foreign affairs, Belden Namah MP, has condemned utterances by United States president Joe Biden describing a situation in World War II when his uncle was ‘shot down and eaten by cannibals in New Guinea’.

“There is no such country called New Guinea in the Pacific,” Namah said. “But if President Biden was referring to Papua New Guinea, his utterances were unfounded, unacceptable and utterly disrespectful.

Continue reading "Belden Namah calls for apology from Biden" »


'Magical thinking' threatens humanity

CHRIS OVERLAND

Roman Empire 117 AD
Map based on Penguin Atlas of Ancient History, Atlas of Past Times, DK Atlas of World History and also a Roman Empire expansion map at the University of Texas (Wikipedia)

ADELAIDE - While trying hard to be an objective historian, I find it hard to disagree that we are at some sort of hinge point in human history.

These seem to come along from time to time, always driven by the cumulative impact of many past decisions.

Continue reading "'Magical thinking' threatens humanity" »


Instability all round in Australia’s near north

PROFESSOR JAMES CHIN *

James Marape
Prime Minister James Marape - looks good for now but feelings are he will be deposed before the year is out (Rhiannon Johannes, DFAT)

HOBART - The past several months has seen an escalation of violence in Papua New Guinea, Australia’s nearest neighbour.

Given the recent developments, prime minister James Marape’s hold on power looks tenuous, and we may soon see a change in leadership.

Continue reading "Instability all round in Australia’s near north" »


Grand strategies shape Australia’s world view

PETER LAYTON *
| East Asia Forum | Extracts

Generates with AI
An AI-generated illustration of Australia's proposed nuclear powered submarines participating in naval exercises

BRISBANE - Grand strategies are whole-of-government, involving diplomatic, informational, military and economic power.

They are of most use to states with limited power that need to focus scarce resources on their most important concerns.

Continue reading "Grand strategies shape Australia’s world view" »


Mixed views of China in the Pacific Islands

DENGHUA ZHANG & BERNARD YEGIORA
| The Conversation

CARLTON, VIC – In recent years China has been steadily increasing its footprint in the Pacific as it attempts to deepen its influence and challenge the traditionally strong relationships many countries have with the US and Australia.

But what do people in the Pacific think of China’s expanding interest and engagement in the region?

Continue reading "Mixed views of China in the Pacific Islands" »


Recent Notes 29: China in the Pacific

CHINESE NAVY IN PNG TO PLAY GAMES

PNG Facts reports on the four-day visit by the Chinese naval vessel ship Qi Jiguang to Papua New Guinea. The stay, which ends today, seems aimed at reinforcing relationships with the politicians and military of PNG. “The officers and soldiers of both countries will participate in visits, exchange programs and games,” said China’s ambassador to PNG, Zeng Fanhua.

Continue reading "Recent Notes 29: China in the Pacific" »


Nuclear wastewater a threat to the Pacific

CODY SHEEHY

Capture
For decades this ‘nuclear coffin’ containing radioactive debris has sat on an uninhabited island in Marshall Islands. The Japanese are said to have convinced a UN agency to dispose of nuclear wastewater directly into the ocean (Image - ABC News Australia)


MAJURO, MARSHALL ISLANDS – Here in Marshall Islands we are very concerned at the news about Japan's nuclear wastewater being disposed of in the Pacific Ocean

The Korean media is going viral alleging that Japan manipulated an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report on the safety and security of nuclear wastewater which is soon to be released.

Continue reading "Nuclear wastewater a threat to the Pacific" »


US gazumps Australia for control of region

ANONYMOUS *

Pacific
Microsoft Bing Image Creator

 

PORT MORESBY – As an officer of the Department of Foreign Affairs in the Papua New Guinea government, I have to write anonymously to secure my safety.

I am writing to reveal interference by the United States in PNG’s internal affairs which is undermining the bilateral relationship between Australia and PNG.

Continue reading "US gazumps Australia for control of region" »


PNG is our country. We must not give it away

MICHAEL TAM

Queen Liliuokalani of Hawaii
Queen Liliuokalani of Hawaii (1840-2017) was against the Reciprocity Treaty, believing it heralded an American takeover of her kingdom. She was correct

PARI - What kind of danger does a nation face when the United States wants to establish a military base on its sovereign territory? Let me first review the history of how the Hawaiian kingdom died.

Some 3,200 kilometers away from the US mainland, Hawaii’s central Pacific location has long been of strategic military importance.

Continue reading "PNG is our country. We must not give it away" »


PNG’s defence deal with USA is ‘sensible’

CHRIS OVERLAND

Cooperation

“It’ll be fascinating to watch how PNG squares away the deal with China. (I guess the Yanks will offer a few tips)” – Keith Jackson

“Presumably PNG’s policy of ‘friend to all, enemy to none’ means the same rights will be extended to China. I think the US has now decided where it’s going to fight its war with China” - Philip Fitzpatrick

“If anyone says there is a crisis between China and the US, that is hushuobada [nonsense]. It's like a siheyuan [traditional Beijing family]. Sometimes you get into fights, you have disagreements, you have no alternative but to work it out, and I think you can” - Kevin Rudd, Australian Ambassador to the USA

“Sino-US cooperation will achieve things that are beneficial to both countries and the world, while confrontation will be disastrous” – Xi Jinping

“The thing we see across all the wargames is that there are major losses on all sides. And the impact of that on our [USA] society is quite devastating” - Becca Wasser, head of gaming lab at Center for a New American Security

ADELAIDE - We don’t know the details of the US-PNG Defence Cooperation Agreement, but it does not really matter.

The plain fact is that the war with the forces of totalitarianism has already commenced. The Russo-Ukraine War is a proxy war between the Western democratic powers and Russia.

Continue reading "PNG’s defence deal with USA is ‘sensible’" »


Bakhmut: Russia loses 100,000 casualties

CHRIS OVERLAND

Battlefield scene from the Battle of Bakhmut 2023 (Bing image creator)
Battlefield scene from the Battle of Bakhmut, 2023 (Bing image creator)

ADELAIDE – Much has changed since I last wrote about the Russo-Ukraine War.

The supposedly undefeatable hypersonic Russian missiles turn out to be very defeatable, much to the chagrin and consternation, not to mention shame, of Vladimir Putin and his Russian officials.

The Ukrainians have once again demonstrated the ability to harness Western technologies to achieve quite startling outcomes in the war Russia expected to win in a weekend.

Continue reading "Bakhmut: Russia loses 100,000 casualties" »


Shiprider agreement must go beyond fisheries

DUNCAN GABI

Gabi    US PNG agreement
Despite calls for more public consultation, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and PNG defence minister Win Bakri Daki ink the defence cooperation and shiprider agreements at APEC House in Port Moresby (Radio New Zealand | Samuel Rillstone)

WEWAK - The defence cooperation agreement between the United States and Papua New Guinea signed late last month, and its associated shiprider agreement offer potential benefits for our fisheries industry.

But in addition to helping PNG protect its sovereignty, it’s crucial to consider the agreements broader implications and to explore other avenues for economic growth and development.

Continue reading "Shiprider agreement must go beyond fisheries" »


The shame of becoming a US military base

How to lose our sovereignty
Are they here to help, or to control?

MICHAEL TAM

PARI - There’s one word that best describes the United States-Papua New Guinea Defence Cooperation Agreement signed in Port Moresby on 22 May by our defence minister Win Bakri Daki and US secretary of state Anthony Blinken.

And that word is ‘shameful’.

It came into being at APEC Haus amidst the rare sight of nationwide protests urging prime minister James Marape not to sign the security pact.

Continue reading "The shame of becoming a US military base" »


Australia needs to take a hard look at itself

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

Voice

TUMBY BAY - Towards the end of this year, Australians will be asked to vote in a referendum to change the Australian Constitution.

They will be asked whether it should be changed to establish a permanent, independent advisory body, known as The Voice, to advise federal parliament and the government on matters relating to the Australia’s Indigenous population.

Continue reading "Australia needs to take a hard look at itself" »


Bad, sad, quite mad & rapidly getting worse

Discussion
A plan is hatched (not in the public interest)

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - Despite its rich and extensive natural resource base, which should make the task of national development, Papua New Guinea has been steadily dragged down over the last 30 years by a toxic blend of volatile politics and entrenched corruption.

A complex political situation intensified by corruption, cronyism and fluctuating strategic alliances have significantly hindered economic progress and contributed to societal challenges.

Continue reading "Bad, sad, quite mad & rapidly getting worse" »


Equality must be real & practised with respect

MICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad

Kabuni
Sitiveni Rabuka (left), prime minister of Fiji, visiting Taneti Maamau, president of Kiribati, in January. Both leaders are seated as a mark of equality and respect. Rabuka later confirmed that Kiribati had agreed to return to the Pacific Islands Forum (Sitiveni Rabuka, Twitter)

PORT MORESBY - When Kiribati left the Pacific Islands Forum after the Forum (including Australia and New Zealand) failed to honour a gentleman’s agreement to let its leadership rotate to a Micronesian nation, it was Fiji which brought Kiribati back into the fold.

After becoming prime minister late last year, he went to Kiribati and, along with his delegation, sat on the grass in the sun.

Continue reading "Equality must be real & practised with respect" »


Don’t sign PNG-US defence deal until it’s fixed

Kama
Dr Bal Kama (ANU College of Law)

BAL KAMA *
| Academia Nomad

CANBERRA – The Papua New Guinea and United States governments are said to be ready (possibly this week) to sign an unprecedented security agreement enabling US forces to operate in PNG.

A draft of the agreement was leaked last week and its substance has not been denied by either government.

Continue reading "Don’t sign PNG-US defence deal until it’s fixed" »


Modi PNG trip expands India’s balancing act

Korybko’sANDREW KORYBKO
| Andrew Korybko’s Newsletter

MONTREAL - India is the only Great Power whose growing ties in any region aren’t seen by the New Cold War’s Chinese and Western protagonists as a threat to their interests.

This makes these nations amenable to accepting India’s envisaged balancing role in the countries they’re competing over, like those in the Pacific.

Continue reading "Modi PNG trip expands India’s balancing act" »


What the hell is going on with USA & China

Bing
The Eagle and the Bear (Microsoft Bing Image Creator)

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Along with many other people I have spent the last year or so trying to get my head around the sabre rattling that has been occurring between China and the USA, with various nervous acolytes, including Australia, standing off to the side.

Both behemoths have unsavoury human rights records and a propensity to strut their military might whenever it pleases them.

Continue reading "What the hell is going on with USA & China" »


This US defence pact shouldn't be signed

The Think Tank (Microsoft Bing Image Creator)
The Think Tank (Microsoft Bing Image Creator)

SIMON MASUGU

PORT MORESBY - It seems that his current troubles, serious though they are, are not bothersome enough to prevent Papua New Guinea’s foreign minister Justin Tkatchenko from attending Monday’s meeting of the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation in Port Moresby.

This will be the third summit of the grouping of India and 14 Pacific Island countries, and it is held as PNG prepares to sign a controversial Defence Cooperation Agreement with the USA.

Continue reading "This US defence pact shouldn't be signed" »


New colonisation of the White Man’s Pacific

Jacksons International AIrport  Port Moresby's (peace-on-earth.org)
Jacksons International AIrport Port Moresby (peace-on-earth.org)

JOHN MENADUE
| Pearls & Irritations

SYDNEY - And the anti-China media beat-ups continue, this time over possible Chinese naval bases in the South Pacific.

The anti-China campaign never stops: Hong Kong; Xinjiang; debt traps; the tennis player Peng Shuai, who was ‘disappeared’; Covid policies that were too strict and then too permissive; a property collapse; a shrinking economy now growing too fast; and renewed beat ups about Chinese military bases in the South Pacific.

Continue reading "New colonisation of the White Man’s Pacific" »


US defence deal will weaken PNG sovereignty

USS Oakland
USS Oakland is on duty in waters around PNG and the Pacific Islands as AUKUS steps up activities in the region

ANDERSON TALAO

PORT MORESBY - United States president Joe Biden and Papua New Guinea’s prime minister James Marape are slated to sign a defence cooperation agreement next Monday which will give nuclear submarines and other military assets freedom of entry to PNG and the Pacific Islands.

The signing of the US-PNG Defence Cooperation Agreement will drag PNG into a military alliance with the US and Australia and give the US and its allies the right to utilise Lombrum naval base in Manus Province.

Continue reading "US defence deal will weaken PNG sovereignty" »


When China versus the USA, where are we?

Kuri    Cleverly
UK foreign minister Cleverly and PNG foreign minister Tkatchenko after signing a security agreement - "a sheer weight of words that mean absolutely nothing"

JOHN KURI

PORT MORESBY – Papua New Guinea has been publicly stating – through official and media sources – that the Chinese don’t have to worry about the long list of security arrangements we are developing with the USA and its allies.

Despite this, however, it is quite clear where PNG is aligned in terms of the growing geopolitical uproar in the Indo–Pacific region.

Continue reading "When China versus the USA, where are we?" »


As storm clouds gather, are we prepared?

CrisisCHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - I have spent many decades studying the wise, wonderful, astonishing, strange and all too often terrible and cruel behaviours of human beings as, collectively, we have created what we call history.

One thing is obvious. History does not follow a predictable and linear trajectory by which we collectively reach progressively higher levels of economic success and enlightened civilisation.

In fact, a feature of history is how good we are at engineering the collapse of elaborate, successful and productive civilisations.

Continue reading "As storm clouds gather, are we prepared?" »


The AUKUS mess & straight talk from Keating

Caricature
Caricature portrait of Paul Keating c 1984 by John Spooner (National Library of Australia)

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Despite my increasing aversion to the 24 hour news cycle, and after the resultant negative pile-on by what passes for the media in Australia, I couldn’t help but be lured to view an interview with Paul Keating at the National Press Club on Wednesday.

Keating has an impressive intellect and an acerbic wit, which was fine-tuned even in his first days as a young Labor Party MP in the late 1960s and had become well-honed when he became Australia’s prime minister in 1991.

He also has always had his finger very firmly on the pulse of Australian and international politics.

Continue reading "The AUKUS mess & straight talk from Keating" »


NZ pilot hostage drama remains an impasse

Philip Mehrtens
New Zealand pilot Philip Mehrtens flying for Susi Air held hostage by West Papua National Liberation Army on 7 February (Jubi TV screenshot)

YAMIN KOGOYA

BRISBANE - The West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB), the armed wing of the Free Papua Movement (OPM), released a video last Wednesday of the Susi Air pilot they have taken hostage.

The plane had landed in Paro village, Nduga Regency in Papua’s highlands men kidnapped Captain Philip Mehrtens, a New Zealander.

Continue reading "NZ pilot hostage drama remains an impasse" »


Challenging the West’s view of its Pacific role

Arm
Pacific Islands nations are determined not to  concede sovereignty in the arm wrestle for regional control between China and the US (Gzero, Paige Fusco)

GREG FRY & TERENCE WESLEY-SMITH
| DevPolicy Blog

CANBERRA - In ‘Sea of many flags’, Rory Medcalf, head of the National Security College at the Australian National University, argues why Pacific Island states should regard the deep regional involvement of a Western coalition (“quietly” led by Australia) as an effective and attractive “Pacific way to dilute China’s influence”.

Although presented as a new proposal, the increased regional engagement of this Western coalition is already well advanced, in the form of proposed new military bases and joint-use facilities, new security treaties, increased aid programs, new embassies, as well as a new regional institution, Partners in the Blue Pacific.

Continue reading "Challenging the West’s view of its Pacific role" »


PNG Australia forum 2023
Ministers who participated in yesterday's 29th Australia-Papua New Guinea ministerial forum

IAN POOLE

FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND - The 29th Australia-Papua New Guinea ministerial forum in Canberra yesterday, co-chaired by Justin Tkatchenko and Senator Penny Wong, featured a stellar line-up of ministers from both countries.

The official communique, which you can read here, details the outcomes of the five key issues discussed at the forum it which 16 Papua New Guinean and 12 Australian ministers took part.

Continue reading "" »


Saina, Amerika, Australia: husat i wantok laka

Dancing musicians (Dreamtime)PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Australia’s sudden spurt of interest in Papua New Guinea has got nothing to do with concerns over corruption.

Rather, it is a reaction to the USA’s paranoia about China’s influence in the region and how that influence might impact on its desire for global economic and military superiority.

Continue reading "Saina, Amerika, Australia: husat i wantok laka" »


The commander gives us a wake-up call

Kuri pic
One of the world's top military officers, Admiral John C Aquilino, inspects a PNGDF guard of honour

JOHN KURI

PORT MORESBY - On Sunday 29 January, Admiral John C Aquilino, Commander of the United States’ Indo-Pacific Command, came to Papua New Guinea.

There was not much fanfare and the guard of honour of the PNG Defence Force left a lot to be desired.

But that’s not the point of this article. It's really about what it means for us that one of the most powerful men in the world’s military comes to PNG’s shores.

Continue reading "The commander gives us a wake-up call" »


Australia has taken 47 years to address issues

Albanese and Marape at Moem Barracks  Wewak (PM’s Office Media)
Anthony Albanese and James Marape at Moem Barracks,  Wewak (PM’s Office Media)

JIMBO GULLE
| PNG Business News

PORT MORESBY – Papua New Guinea prime minister James Marape says that, for the first time in the 47 years since independence, an Australian government and prime minister are addressing all outstanding issues between both countries.

Marape was commenting on the visit by Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese in mid-January.

Continue reading "Australia has taken 47 years to address issues" »


Cashless in China as I study for my PhD

Wakia  WeChat and Alipay applications
WeChat and Alipay digital payment applications

BETTY GABRIEL WAKIA

PORT MORESBY - In November of 2022, a few months after arriving in China’s Hubei Province, it was with a feeling of excitement that I strolled down the busy streets of Wuhan.

I wanted to see how Wuhan had changed since I lived there in 2011.

Eleven years later, I was returning to the place where I had started my journey in higher education.

Continue reading "Cashless in China as I study for my PhD" »


Reflections on 2022: another era of instability

BabyCHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - Across many parts of the world people are enjoying - or enduring - the Christmas season.

This Christian celebration has long been stripped of its religious meaning in most of the capitalist Western world.

At best, it is a time for people to get together and enjoy the company of their family and friends.

But mostly it is a time too often devoted to over indulgence and conspicuous consumption.

Continue reading "Reflections on 2022: another era of instability " »


Recognising the perils of war to avert war

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - We ought not to regard China as a direct military threat. It makes no strategic or practical sense to do so. After all, we willingly sell them the resources they need from us.

They have long ago worked out that, in our neo-liberal capitalist system, money speaks much more loudly than ethics, morality or patriotism.

I also agree that we should avoid being dragged into ugly regional wars, especially those premised upon the idea that democracy can be successfully exported.

Continue reading "Recognising the perils of war to avert war" »


China’s behaviour tells story of its ambitions

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - Dennis Argall, Australia’s former ambassador to Beijing and Washington, has written recently on the breakdown of USA's power as the defining feature of our strategic environment. 

I agree with a great deal of what he has written, however, I think that has not demonstrated that China is not bent upon becoming the world’s most dominant and influential power.

He does not pay sufficient regard to the rhetoric coming from within the Chinese Communist Party about China’s destiny to resume its natural place as the world’s foremost power.

Continue reading "China’s behaviour tells story of its ambitions" »


W Papuans fear Indon-PNG defence pact

YAMIN KOGOYA

“We are part of them and they are part of us,” declared politician Augustine Rapa, founder and president of Papua New Guinea’s Liberal Democratic Party.

Rapa was speaking in Port Moresby on 1 December at the 61st anniversary of the struggle for independence in West Papua.

Rapa’s statement was in response to PNG police who arrived at the anniversary celebration and attempted to prevent Papuans from the other side of the colonial border from commemorating this significant national day.

Continue reading "W Papuans fear Indon-PNG defence pact" »


For good or ill US is democracy’s torch bearer

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - It was Lord Palmerston who first said, in a speech to the British House of Commons on 1 March 1848, that Britain had ‘no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.’

This axiom ought to be the guiding principle for Australian diplomacy and, in fact, I think it has been since 14 March 1942, when prime minister John Curtin stated that Australia turned to America for support and advice in confronting the Japanese peril in the Pacific.

Our relationship with the US has endured since that time and, as Phil Fitzpatrick has rightly pointed out, we have usually acted loyally if sometimes unwisely to support our ‘great and powerful friend’.

Continue reading "For good or ill US is democracy’s torch bearer" »


Let's be friends to all & enemies to everybody

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Whether it is at the clan level or the national level, human society seems to be most comfortable when it has a clearly defined enemy.

During World War II, Australia had Japan to hate and Europe had Germany. In the post war years we  feared the communists in Russia, and then in China.

Everyone was happy. Community solidarity was in force on both sides of the fence.

Continue reading "Let's be friends to all & enemies to everybody" »


The ‘wicked problem’ of B'ville independence

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE – Poor Richard Marles. Australia’s deputy prime minister and defence minister had merely stated his support for Papua New Guinea as it moved through the thorny issue of Bougainville independence.

The general statement of support for PNG attributed to him was pretty much all he could say.

But Bougainville president Ishmael Toroama interpreted it as specific Australian support for PNG, which at present is indicating its opposition to Bougainville independence.

Continue reading "The ‘wicked problem’ of B'ville independence" »


Marles' words anger Bougainville president

BAL KAMA
| East Asia Forum

CANBERRA - The relationship between Australia and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville is in repair mode following remarks by Australia’s deputy prime minister and defence minister Richard Marles.

Marles visited Papua New Guinea in October for negotiations over an Australia–PNG defence treaty.

The rift originated from a press conference with PNG prime minister James Marape and Marles when Marles responded to a question on Australia’s position on Bougainville’s pending bid to obtain independence from PNG.

Continue reading "Marles' words anger Bougainville president" »


At last an intelligent approach to China

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - I have a huge amount of respect for John Menadue and thus accept that his recent comments, ‘Xi & Albanese: Can we seize the opportunity', on his Pearls & Reflections website, reflect his long and deep experience in dealing with China.

I also entirely agree with his remarks on the former Liberal-National Party government, which was spectacularly inept in its dealings with China, although its criticisms of China were not always entirely without merit.

And I strongly approve of the Albanese government's sensible approach to China which has been respectful and forthright, certainly not the shrill, overblown hyperbole that characterised the previous government's approach.

Continue reading "At last an intelligent approach to China" »


Xi & Albanese: Can we seize the opportunity?

Whilst I hold Australia rather than China most responsible for the tension, our media has played a big part in promoting hostility. It has been a shameful performance from many ‘senior’ journalists and I don’t exclude ABC journalists with their attack dog style

Capture

JOHN MENADUE
| Pearls & Irritations

SYDNEY - The meeting between president Xi Jinping and prime minister Anthony Albanese could result in an overdue improvement in relations between China and Australia.

Real improvements will take time and a lot of goodwill. (But will deputy prime minister Richard Marles be a stumbling block?)

Continue reading "Xi & Albanese: Can we seize the opportunity?" »


Australia & China reset rocky relationship

“China and Australia are both important countries in the Asia Pacific region. We should improve, maintain and develop our relationship" - President Xi Jinping

Albanese xi
Anthony Albanese and Xi Jinping

MAEVE BANNISTER
| Australian Associated Press

SYDNEY - Australia and China have taken a first step towards mending their diplomatic relationship following a “constructive” meeting between the two nation’s leaders.

Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese met Chinese president Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali yesterday.

Continue reading "Australia & China reset rocky relationship" »


Albanese mission to fix Morrison’s problems

Albanese recognises is Australia needs to embrace the reality of an aspiring China and also enter new arrangements with the USA that can better protect Australia

Capture
Illustration by Global Times

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE – Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese has articulated a view of Australia' long term defence requirements that is based upon a pragmatic and realistic assessment of history and current facts.

Albanese does not characterise China as an enemy, nor is he advocating that Australia become a humble supplicant to the USA.

Continue reading "Albanese mission to fix Morrison’s problems" »


The bold ambitions of a foreign policy PM

“I spoke to Albanese on the day the Chinese foreign ministry criticised plans for Australia to upgrade the RAAF Tindal base to accommodate six US B-52 strategic bombers”

Albo_and_army

GREG SHERIDAN
| The Australian | Edited extracts

SYDNEY (5 November 2022) - Anthony Albanese may look and sound a mild man, and that is one of his strengths. But he has an ambition that no Australian leader has had for decades.

He wants to create a military force capable of defending Australia.

Continue reading "The bold ambitions of a foreign policy PM" »


Marles reignites B'ville suspicions of Australia

The angry reaction of Bougainville president Ishmael Toroama to what he termed Richard Marles’ “veiled threats” should be a warning to Canberra about the need to settle past grievances

Bville toroama
President Ishmael Toroama - suspicious of Australian motives

ANTHONY REGAN
| The Interpreter | Lowy Institute

CANBERRA - During a visit last month to Papua New Guinea by Australia’s deputy prime minister and defence minister Richard Marles, a newspaper report on one of his press conference answers sparked a stinging reaction from Bougainville president Ishmael Toroama.

In response to the 13 October article, ‘Aust backs PNG on B’ville’, including a comment from Marles that “our job is to support Papua New Guinea and that’s what we are going to do”, Toroama issued an “angry” statement, warning that Marles was making “veiled threats”.

Continue reading "Marles reignites B'ville suspicions of Australia" »


Drug syndicates boost activity in the Pacific

The Pacific Islands are not only becoming a destination for drugs like methamphetamine and cocaine, they are places where criminals can take advantage of weak or out-of-date laws and police largely focused on local policing and public order

Pacific sunset

ERICH PARPART
| Voice of America | Edited extracts

BANGKOK — The Pacific Islands are increasingly being used as a transit point for transnational crime, including drug trafficking and money laundering, experts say.

Criminal organisations from Asia and the Americas are exploiting limited law enforcement resources in the region.

Continue reading "Drug syndicates boost activity in the Pacific" »


How to stabilise PNG & other fragile states

Fragile states emerged as an area of concern in the 1990s in the fields of security and development. This book (free to download) considers the dimensions of fragility that can be influenced by policy action

nternally displaced persons
Children in a camp for internally displaced persons in northern Afghanistan (Eric Kanalstein, UN)

NEMATULLAH BIZHAN
| Edited extracts

PORT MORESBY - Fragile states, amongst which I number Papua New Guinea, endanger the lives of citizens and expose societies to the risk of collapse.

When this happens, famine, violent disorder and economic distress can displace millions of people, with consequent impacts on surrounding regions.

Continue reading "How to stabilise PNG & other fragile states" »