Foreign affairs & defence Feed

Australia fends off China with K1.5b for ports

Port of Lae
Port of Lae - set to become a regional container hub as Australia fends off Chinese influence.

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - The Australian government has announced it will provide K1.5 billion in loans and grants to Papua New Guinea to upgrade its ports facilities.

Australia says the funds will strengthen trade ties between the two countries and encourage PNG to decline investment from other nations including China.

Continue reading "Australia fends off China with K1.5b for ports" »


Remote Daru could be a regional flashpoint

Daru's New Century Hotel
Daru's New Century Hotel and street market - doubtless the mud-puddlers have fond memories of sinking the odd stubby here (Mark O'Shea)

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - There’s a loose and exotic fraternity of expatriate mud-puddlers who served in the Western Province who exchange occasional emails when something of interest about their old stamping ground surfaces in the media.

A recent report in the Papua New Guinea Post-Courier about a development plan for Daru, the provincial capital, is currently stirring their interest.

Continue reading "Remote Daru could be a regional flashpoint" »


China is outfoxing US in the Indo-Pacific

FlagsSYED MUNIR KHASRU
| South China Morning Post

DHAKA - Beijing understands that economic security created through trade is more enduring than when done through military superiority.

China has deepened ties with Singapore, signing 14 new deals at an annual bilateral cooperation meeting held on 29 December.

Continue reading "China is outfoxing US in the Indo-Pacific" »


Timor: Our lingering, damaging bad-faith legacy

Bernard Collaery (Lukas Coch  AAP)
Bernard Collaery - object of a scandalous prosecution by the Australian government (Lukas Coch,  AAP)

BERNARD COLLAERY
| Pearls & Irritations | Edited extracts

This article by barrister Bernard Collaery presumes some prior knowledge by readers of his scandalous prosecution by the Commonwealth government. Wikipedia has a thorough profile here of Collaery and the shocking Witness K Trial. The story from SBS here brings the affair up to the moment. In this stunning piece Collaery provides a compelling first-hand account of the damage to Australia’s international reputation and to the standing of some prominent Australian lawyers and politicians - KJ

CANBERRA - Canberra’s conduct towards the Timorese was so grave that Australia continues to be regarded within international legal circles as a cheat.

Our legal team returned to Cambridge, England, in early 2014 from the International Court of Justice at The Hague in the Netherlands.

Continue reading "Timor: Our lingering, damaging bad-faith legacy" »


FBI & RPNGC join forces to fight corruption

FBI official
FBI assistant commissioner Hodges Ette poses with a RPNGC officer at the financial crimes and corruption training program [USA Embassy]

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – “Who wears sunglasses on a rainy day looking like they’re going to the concert in a suit?” the joke goes.

The answer is a G-man, the American slang term for agents of the United States government, usually from the FBI.

The famed Federal Bureau of Investigation is the domestic intelligence and security service of the USA, the government’s principal federal law enforcement agency.

Continue reading "FBI & RPNGC join forces to fight corruption" »


PNG security ahead of the 2022 election

Visit by HMAS Choules
Handover of  first Guardian Class patrol boat by Australia to PNG,  2019 (DFAT)

MICHAEL KABUNI
| Asia & The Pacific Policy Society

CANBERRA - Policymakers in the Pacific Island region face multifaceted security issues.

That fact is not lost on the region’s leaders, as demonstrated by the 2018 Boe Declaration on Regional Security, which expands the definition of security beyond the geostrategic concerns to human security.

Continue reading "PNG security ahead of the 2022 election" »


The persecution of Bernard Collaery

Bc
Bernard Collaery - "The contemptible prosecution of Bernard Collaery is an assault on the rule of law”

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – When I resigned as president of the Papua New Guinea Association of Australia in January 2009, I continued working on a few projects I did not want to see languish.

One was to gain national recognition of the 1,053 civilian and military prisoners interned by the Japanese in Rabaul who drowned when the prison ship Montevideo Maru was torpedoed on 1 July 1942 en route to Hainan in China.

Continue reading "The persecution of Bernard Collaery" »


Papua’s long betrayal: 60 years of repression

Morning-star-flag
"Every drop of Papuan blood leaves a trail leading to the perpetrators, the crime scenes and, eventually, to Papuan statehood"

YAMIN KOGOYA

CANBERRA – Yesterday, 1 December, marked 60 years since the State of Papua came into being.

In the centuries preceding 1961, Ortiz de Rates, a Spanish explorer, renamed the island ‘Nueva Guinea’ (New Guinea)’ on 20 June 1545 and, hearing of his alleged discovery, other Europeans followed.

Continue reading "Papua’s long betrayal: 60 years of repression" »


Solomons caper: Dexterous, Dopey or Deflection?

Arson - Morrison flanked by announces deployment
Foreign minister Marise Payne and prime minister Scott Morrison in Canberra yesterday afternoon announcing Australia's troop and police deployment to Honiara

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – As people in Honiara awake to a likely third day of riot, arson and looting , 43 Australian Defence Force personnel will join 23 Australian Federal Police in the Solomons’ capital “to provide security and stability” according to Australian prime minister Scott Morrison, .

Foreign minister Marise Payne says the deployment disagreed the intervention was an intervention and also said it was not to support Solomons’ prime minister Manasseh Sogavere’s faltering government.

Continue reading "Solomons caper: Dexterous, Dopey or Deflection?" »


$1.6b handout to Telstra to head off Chinese

Telstra CEO Andy Penn (AAP  David Crosling)
Telstra CEO Andy Penn - soon to be the proud owner of Digicel Pacific (Photo - David Crosling, AAP)

KIM WINGEREI
| Michael West Media | Extracts

GOLD COAST - Why was Telstra slotted $1.6 billion (K4 billion) by Australia’s Morrison government to buy Digicel, and how is it Telstra shares slumped by one-third during the bull market?

It’s corporate welfare on steroids. Another bizarre intervention in what Scott Morrison and treasurer Josh Frydenberg like to call free markets.

Continue reading "$1.6b handout to Telstra to head off Chinese" »


This time our Chinese are Lowy's targets

Mahjong
The Lowy Institute thought this blurred photo of a mahjong game was an appropriate image to accompany its survey report on what was presented as the indistinct loyalties of Chinese Australians to their home country, which is Australia

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – In February, author Hervey Forsythe wrote in PNG Attitude of how an Australian government-supported think tank, the Lowy Institute, had been accused of racism and ‘infantilising’ Pacific islanders.

In ‘Lowy feels heat over ‘tone deaf comments’, Forsythe told how the Institute faced a barrage of criticism following an extraordinary article in its magazine, The Interpreter.

Continue reading "This time our Chinese are Lowy's targets" »


Solomon islanders continue wrangle over China

China has Honiara onside but still hasn't won over the Solomons
China has Honiara onside but still hasn't won over the Solomons

CLEO PASKAL
| The Sunday Guardian | Extracts

NEW DELHI - In September 2019, the Solomon Islands switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

The central government made the decision without public consultation, and it was widely unpopular, particularly in the most populous province, Malaita.

Continue reading "Solomon islanders continue wrangle over China" »


Telstra’s PNG mobile monopoly is no cakewalk

Telstra_acquires_digicel_pacificKEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - On Monday 25 October, the giant Australian telecommunications corporation, Telstra, announced it was buying Digicel Pacific, the dominant mobile network operator in the region.

Digicel owns the biggest telcos in Papua New Guinea, Nauru, Samoa, Vanuatu and Tonga and the second biggest in Fiji.

Continue reading "Telstra’s PNG mobile monopoly is no cakewalk" »


‘Independent’ think tank writes its own history

AspiMARCUS REUBENSTEIN
| APAC News 

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) has received frequent mentions in PNG Attitude because of what we perceive as its entrenched right wing, militaristic and neoliberal biases, especially on foreign affairs. Its coverage of Papua New Guinea issues also often suffers from a surfeit of opinion over factual analysis. Marcus Rubenstein’s shines a helpful light on ASPI, which often says aloud what the Morrison government chooses not to - KJ

“The very ink with which history is written is merely fluid prejudice” - Mark Twain

SYDNEY - The Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s claims of fearless independence ring hollow as foreign governments and corporate entities shower it with money.

Winston Churchill, whose once mighty British empire still casts a significant shadow across Australia, reportedly once said, “History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.”

Continue reading "‘Independent’ think tank writes its own history" »


China’s Pacific agenda leaves Australia dangling

Wang Yi chairs first foreign ministers meeting
China's foreign minister Wang Yi chairs the first China-Pacific Island foreign ministers' meeting, held virtually last week

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Last week’s meeting of Pacific Island foreign ministers with China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, included commitments by China to increase its activity in addressing Covid, poverty reduction and climate action.

Wang chaired the meeting which included Soroi Eoe of Papua New Guinea, senior ministers from Kiribati, Fiji, Tonga, Niue, Vanuatu, Micronesia, Solomon Islands and Henry Puna, secretary general of the Pacific Islands Forum.

Continue reading "China’s Pacific agenda leaves Australia dangling" »


Former Oz leaders apologise to Pacific

Bob Carr  ex Singapore foreign minister George Yeo  Kevin Rudd  Malcolm Turnbull
Bob Carr, Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull at a function honouring former  Singapore foreign minister George Yeo

KATE LYONS
| The Guardian | Extracts

SYDNEY - Former Australian prime ministers Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull, and former foreign affairs minister Bob Carr, have accused the Morrison government of “cynical indifference” and “empty rhetoric” when it comes to climate action.

They said the commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 was the “bare minimum” that needed to be done.

Continue reading "Former Oz leaders apologise to Pacific" »


Our impure Ozocracy is beginning to buckle

War-is-too-important-to-be-left-to-politicians
Brigadier General Jack D Ripper (Sterling Hayden) in 'Dr Strangelove', a black comedy directed, produced, and co-written by Stanley Kubrick (1964)

BERNARD CORDEN & KEITH JACKSON

“It is as inhuman to be totally good as it is to be totally evil” - Anthony Burgess

“Your Commie has no regard for human life. Not even his own” – Brigadier General Jack D Ripper (Dr Strangelove)

“Mr President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed. But I do say no more than ten to twenty million killed, tops. Uh, depending on the breaks” - General 'Buck' Turgidson (Dr Strangelove)

Continue reading "Our impure Ozocracy is beginning to buckle" »


Australia strands asylum seekers in PNG

Capture
The Manus detention centre in October 2017 ahead of its closure

STEFAN ARMBRUSTER
| SBS News | Extract

BRISBANE - The end to eight years of Australia's detention of asylum seekers in Papua New Guinea has raised concerns for the United Nations' refugee agency and the Australian Human Rights Commission.

The AHRC has questioned whether the Australian government is able to relinquish full responsibility for more than 120 detainees who remain in PNG while still adhering to rights and refugee treaty obligations.

Continue reading "Australia strands asylum seekers in PNG" »


This is a time for superb leadership

Sun Tzu
Sun Tzu (544-496 BC),  Chinese general, military strategist, writer and philosopher 

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - While I agree with Phil Fitzpatrick's observation, in a comment to PNG Attitude, that the USA has involved both itself and Australia in a series of mostly disastrous wars, it does not necessarily follow that this is inevitable in the case of rising tensions with China.

I say this for several reasons but will mention only one, which is China's serious vulnerability to a trade embargo.

Continue reading "This is a time for superb leadership" »


AUKUS, PNG & the build-up against China

Aukus subsKEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – The Australian mass media and opposition Labor Party have “missed the point” of the AUKUS pact which saw the Morrison government dump a huge submarine contract, says Mike Scrafton, former senior adviser to Australia’s defence minister.

Writing for Pearls and Irritations, Scrafton forecasts that, under Australia’s new strategic arrangements with the United States and the United Kingdom, there will be a major step-up in the US militarisation in Australia.

Continue reading "AUKUS, PNG & the build-up against China" »


Oz sub decision of little import

Turtle
The world's first submarine, Turtle, was built by American inventor David Bushnell in 1775 for use against British warships in the Revolutionary War that gave birth to the United States. Due to the single operator's lack of skill, it failed to wreak even the slightest amount of havoc

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE – I’m struggling to see how the acquisition of American nuclear submarines necessarily binds us to its foreign policy, let alone fighting a war with it.

If the mere acquisition of US made hardware and very secret and sophisticated technology did that, then surely buying 75 F35 fighters has long since locked us into that role?

Similarly, I struggle with the idea that buying a genuinely potent weapon as a means of defence is a provocation.

Continue reading "Oz sub decision of little import" »


No room for neutrality in this new world

Capture
Scott Morrison looks at Joe Biden on a video link - "China is not a benign power. It is no more or less self-interested than any other authoritarian power"

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - I think Phil Fitzpatrick, The US sets up Australia for war, has invested Australia’s decision to buy nuclear submarines with more significance than it deserves, at least as far as the prospect of war is concerned.

As I have written before, in Rationality & balance required for China, the 'dance of death' between a resurgent and increasingly nationalistic and belligerent China and the previously dominant USA began some time ago.

Continue reading "No room for neutrality in this new world" »


Morrison’s risky throw of electoral dice

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (AFP)
Scott Morrison has placed Australia on the front line of any future war with China (AFP)

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - The editorial in this weekend’s ‘The Saturday Paper’ is interesting. It quotes Hugh White, former deputy-secretary of the Defence Department.

In an article elsewhere, White suggests that conventional submarines are perfectly suited if Australia is only interested in defending itself, whereas nuclear-powered submarines are perfectly suited to attacking another country.

Continue reading "Morrison’s risky throw of electoral dice" »


Aukus strikes at heart of Pacific regionalism

James Bhagwan  general secretary  Pacific Council of Churches (Radio New Zealand  Jamie Tahana)
Rev James Bhagwan,  general secretary of the Pacific Council of Churches - "Australia is not acting in the best interests of  vuvale,  family" (Radio New Zealand Jamie Tahana)

JOHNNY BLADES
| Radio New Zealand Pacific | Edited extracts

AUCKLAND - Australia's new security pact with the United States and the United Kingdom has touched a nerve at the core of Pacific regionalism.

The AUKUS alliance, announced by the leaders of the three countries late last week, finds them seeking strategic advantage in the Indo-Pacific region.

Continue reading "Aukus strikes at heart of Pacific regionalism" »


US sets up Australia for a China war

Johnson  Biden and Morrison (Mark Knight)
The Big Three Meet - Johnson Biden and Morrison (Mark Knight, Herald-Sun)

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - The United States of America is a warmonger but prefers to fight its wars in other people’s countries: Moro (Philippines), Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, the list goes on and, as you can read here, it is very, very long.

War and the military industrial complex are inextricably entwined in the US economy and now it seems to be quite advanced in its planning for the next war – another one in our backyard, the Indo-Pacific.

Continue reading "US sets up Australia for a China war" »


Australia’s feeble ‘blame China’ narrative

China-v-AustraliaSOURABH GUPTA
| East Asia Forum

WASHINGTON - The Australia–China relationship has been in the deep doldrums for some time now.

Australian commentary pins the blame for the deterioration of bilateral ties on "China’s aggressive attempt to expand the domestic authoritarianism of [Chinese] President Xi Jinping into the Indo-Pacific region".

Continue reading "Australia’s feeble ‘blame China’ narrative" »


Telstra visit signals Digicel deal is closer

Denis O'Brien
Digicel's Denis O'Brien - Australia's China troubles is the tycoon's get rid of debt card

BUSINESS DESK
| The Irish Times | Extract

DUBLIN - The downward spiral in relations between China and Australia in the past year has played into the hands of businessman Denis O’Brien as he looks to further reduce the debt burden of his Digicel telecoms group.

Early last year O’Brien effectively forced bondholders to write off $1.6 billion (K5.6 billion) of what they were owed.

Continue reading "Telstra visit signals Digicel deal is closer" »


PNG & Oz ministers mull relationship

Dragon2KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - The 28th Papua New Guinea–Australia Ministerial Forum on Thursday undertook a wide-ranging if shallow canter through the major issues facing both countries.

The agenda of the virtual conference, co-chaired by foreign ministers Soroi Marepo Eoe and Senator Marise Payne, covered Covid, defence cooperation, the PNG economy, business, agriculture and other aspects of what was flashily styled as a ”dynamic partnership”.

Continue reading "PNG & Oz ministers mull relationship" »


Asia (& PNG) are places you fly over

Phil Williams was a highly regarded foreign correspondent for the ABC
Phil Williams was a highly regarded foreign correspondent for the ABC

BRUCE DOVER & IAN MACINTOSH
| Pearls & Irritations

SYDNEY - By ignoring Asia and the Pacific, the Australian media is contributing towards the creation of a more insular and parochial and less understanding country.

Any examination of Australia’s media these days suggests the country’s news editors have adopted an adage attributed to former prime minister Paul Keating – that Asia (or Papua New Guinea) was a place you flew over on the way to Europe – or Washington in our case.

Continue reading "Asia (& PNG) are places you fly over" »


Strong backlash over Covid ‘deception’ charge

Capture
The Indian High Commission in Port Moresby

IAN LLOYD NEUBAUER
| Al Jazeera | Edited extract

SYDNEY - The Indian high commission in Papua New Guinea has denied claims by PNG police commissioner David Manning that it helped unauthorised passengers, including four who were infected with Covid-19, to arrive in Port Moresby.

The denial came after Mr Manning last week banned all flights from India, accusing the Indian government of deliberately participating in deception that compromised PNG’s safety and security.

Continue reading "Strong backlash over Covid ‘deception’ charge" »


Global upheaval is global unpredictability

US military
'As a fighting machine the US military remains without peer'

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - Martin Hadlow's comments, ‘Taliban had time, and are not so benign, are both informed and pertinent.

There has been much hysterical commentary in the media about the sudden collapse of the Afghan government and of the USA's precipitous and badly planned withdrawal.

Continue reading "Global upheaval is global unpredictability" »


Taliban had time, & are not so benign

Hand-compiling the Kabul Weekly newspaper
Hand-compiling the Kabul Weekly newspaper (Martin Hadlow)

MARTIN HADLOW

SAMFORD VALLEY - After living and working for long periods in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, I align myself with those who would consider themselves 'professional optimists.'

However, even my optimism was tempered when I read Tony Kevin's view of the Taliban and how it operates, 'The Afghanistan disaster, Russia & China'.

Continue reading "Taliban had time, & are not so benign" »


The Afghanistan disaster, Russia & China

China
China was one of the first countries to recognise the Taliban's Islamic government In Afghanistan. "We respect the people's decision," said a spokesman

TONY KEVIN
| John Menadue’s Pearls & Irritations

CANBERRA - The fall of the Ashraf Ghani regime in Kabul came very suddenly but was entirely predictable.

Neighbouring great powers China and Russia had been quietly preparing for this expected outcome for months.

Russia has in practical ways been reaffirming its reliable security obligations to the ‘Stans’ on Afghanistan’s northern border and has doubtless engaged in informal diplomacy with Taliban contacts.

Continue reading "The Afghanistan disaster, Russia & China" »


The shape of things to come

Shape-of-things-to-comeCHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - The title to this piece comes from a book written by H G Wells and published in 1933.

In his book, Wells made a number of predictions about how the world would develop in the aftermath of World War I.

Some of his predictions were correct, notably regarding the development and use of air power to influence the outcome of warfare, especially strategic bombing.

Continue reading "The shape of things to come" »


An open letter to our Pacific friends

Capture
Who would want to have these three as family? Scott Morrison, Tony Abbott and Peter Dutton share a cruel joke at the expense of Pacific islanders, their attitudes and hypocrisy on public view

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - On behalf of all concerned people in Australia I would like to extend a sincere apology to the nations and people of the South Pacific.

We apologise for the misguided, inadequate, cowardly and reckless actions of our Australian federal government in failing to take seriously the dire consequences to you of climate change.

Continue reading "An open letter to our Pacific friends" »


Pacific step-up or business as usual?

Webinar host Prof Meg Keen  Senator Zed Seselja and Dame Annette King (
Webcast host Prof Meg Keen,  Senator Zed Seselja and Dame Annette King (Ben Bohane)

LEONARD LOUMA
| Asia and the Pacific Policy Society | Edited extracts

PORT MORESBY – After working at senior levels in the Papua New Guinea government, sitting across the table from New Zealand and Australia in the tough work of diplomacy, I have seen how both countries engage.

I thought revealing a recent discussion on the Pacific Step-Up in a webcast hosted by the Australia Pacific Security College which featured Australia’s Pacific minister, Zed Seselja, and New Zealand’s high commissioner to Australia, Dame Annette King.

Continue reading "Pacific step-up or business as usual?" »


Does the Pacific want Australia to lead?

Richard Marles
Richard Marles - the only Pacific-themed photo of him I could find. Slightly out of focus, which seemed appropriate

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – The book's title is a strained pun and the 2,000 word extract he allowed the Sydney Morning Herald gives the impression he’s struggling to kick an invisible ball at hidden goal posts.

And, if this chapter is any indication, 'Tides that Bind: Australia in the Pacific’, by Australia’s deputy opposition leader Richard Marles, is a strange piece of work.

Continue reading "Does the Pacific want Australia to lead?" »


Pacific leaders seek strong regional solidarity

James Marape in a virtual conference (Prime Ministerial Media)
James Marape in a virtual conference (Prime Ministerial Media)

NEWS DESK
| PNG Bulletin Online

PORT MORESBY – Papua New Guinea’s prime minister James Marape has joined leaders of the Pacific to call for stronger solidarity, a renewed Covid-19 response and tougher action on climate change.

Marape joined 12 other leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum as it convened on Friday in a virtual retreat to mark the last 50 years since its establishment in 1971 in New Zealand.

Continue reading "Pacific leaders seek strong regional solidarity" »


Aussie needs some Melanesian Way on China

TopPHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Papua New Guinea appears to be handling its relationship with China much better than Australia.

The Melanesian propensity to seek consensus, rather than muscling up in a confrontational manner, might have something to do with it.

So too might Papua New Guineans’ emphasis on respect rather than derision.

Continue reading "Aussie needs some Melanesian Way on China" »


Colours of battle still shine for best friends

PIX 1
PNGDF project team leader Lieutenant Livia Wrakonei points the way to Australia’s High Commissioner Jon Philp and PNGDF chief Major-General Gilbert Toropo

ALEXANDER NARA

MURRAY BARRACKS, PORT MORESBY - Best friends are connected souls, so to speak. They align. They trust each other.

Some say our best friends can be our worst enemies, but Chinese philosopher Mencius (372-289 BC) said, “Best friends are our own siblings that God did not give us.”

These types of friends are rare and bless us with true companionship.

Continue reading "Colours of battle still shine for best friends" »


Australia must focus on cooperation not China

(Xia Qing  Global Times)
China's helping hand in the race against Covid (Xia Qing - Global Times)

ZHOU FANGYIN
| Global Times

This article has been edited from a Global Times interview with Mr Zhou, who is director of the Centre for Pacific Island Countries Studies at the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies - KJ

BEIJING - Despite a troubled vaccination progress at home, Australia has still found energy to interfere in the vaccination rollout in Papua New Guinea by touting vaccine rivalry between itself and China.

PNG, which recently detected its first case of the highly contagious Delta variant, has agreed to vaccine offerings from a number of suppliers including China, Australia, New Zealand and Covax, the global initiative aimed at equitable access to vaccines.

Continue reading "Australia must focus on cooperation not China" »


PNG caught in China-Australia Covid power play

When the Sinopharm vaccines arrived  PNG's planning minister Richard Maru thanked China and added he also wanted to thank Australia (ABC News - Natalie Whiting)
When the Sinopharm vaccines arrived in Port Moresby,  PNG's planning minister Richard Maru thanked China and also Australia to appear even-handed (ABC News - Natalie Whiting)

NATALIE WHITING
| ABC Papua New Guinea Correspondent

Link to Natalie’s complete article here

PORT MORESBY - On two sides of Papua New Guinea's capital, there are duelling vaccine rollouts run by Australian and Chinese representatives taking place.

In the face of a contagious new variant and widespread vaccine hesitancy, PNG is taking help from any neighbour offering it.

Continue reading "PNG caught in China-Australia Covid power play" »


‘Floating, adrift on the tides of prejudice’

The Daily Mirror (Sydney)  11 March 1954 The White Australia Policy officially ended in 1958
The Daily Mirror (Sydney) 11 March 1954.  The White Australia Policy officially ended in 1958

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – To augment and provide some formal legal underpinnings for Stefan Armbruster’s fine article on the sad case of Troyrone (Troy) Zen Lee, I am publishing two extracts from longer commentaries by legal experts.

For those readers who wish to better understand the arguments involved, and the somewhat confusing (not to mention slender) basis on which Parliament’s sometimes make their laws, I believe these extracts will be useful as they advert to Lee's and other like cases.

Continue reading "‘Floating, adrift on the tides of prejudice’" »


Builders: The story of Mendi’s Royal Engineers

The Ialibu-Kagua built by 12 CE Works was sealed in 2019
The Ialibu-Kagua road built by 12 CE Works in the 1970s was finally sealed in 2019

KEVIN PAMBA
| Harim Tok Tok

MADANG - By the time the Royal Australian Engineers (RAE) unit left Mendi in 1999, most parts of the former Southern Highlands Province (Hela was created from its western region in 2012) were connected by basic roads while the more outlying areas had airstrips.

Members of the Australian Army’s engineering corps had been deployed to Mendi in 1970 to run the Provincial Works Division.

Continue reading "Builders: The story of Mendi’s Royal Engineers" »


Oz sweats to keep Pacific telcos from China

DigiCHRIS DUCKETT
| ZDNet | Edited extracts

SYDNEY - Australia is funding the potential purchase of a Pacific telco for only one reason, to ensure China Mobile doesn't get to it first.

It now appears Australia wants a crack at showing the world how to keep companies out of Chinese ownership.

Continue reading "Oz sweats to keep Pacific telcos from China" »


Berati family sues Oz govt over Manus murder

Reza Barati
Reza Barati was just 23 when bashed to death by Australian guards at a refugee camp on Manus

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – The parents of Iranian asylum seeker Reza Berati, who died in February 2014 after being brutally beaten at an Australian-run detention centre, have begun legal action over his death.

Berati was 23 when killed by guards in a violent riot at the Manus Island camp that injured 77 other asylum seekers.

Continue reading "Berati family sues Oz govt over Manus murder" »


Covid is now a China-Australia power play

James Marape receives 15 ventilators donated by the Chinese government
PNG prime minister James Marape receives 15 ventilators donated by the Chinese government

JULIA HOLLINGSWORTH & BEN WESTCOTT
CNN Digital Worldwide | Edited extracts

Link here for the complete analysis

HONG KONG - China and Australia have found another battleground for their deepening diplomatic standoff: the Pacific islands' pandemic response.

Canberra has hit back at Beijing's claims it is derailing the rollout of Chinese vaccines in Papua New Guinea, the most-populous Pacific nation.

Continue reading "Covid is now a China-Australia power play" »


Transparency defends besieged regulator

Loi-Bakani
Loi Bakani - "The Bank of PNG disassociates itself from the statement made by FASU”

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) has strongly supported PNG’s financial regulator after Central Bank governor dissociated his bank from action it had taken to investigate possible money laundering.

TIPNG chair Peter Aitsi called on the government and the private sector to respect the independence of the Financial Analysis and Supervision Unit (FASU).

Continue reading "Transparency defends besieged regulator" »


Chinese vaccine starts mass rollout

Forests Minister Walter Schnaulbelt was first to be vaccinated
Forests Minister Walter Schnaulbelt was first to be vaccinated with the highly effective Chinese Sinopharm vaccine

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Papua New Guinea began the rollout of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine on Tuesday, with Forests Minister Walter Schnaubelt receiving the first official jab.

China supplied PNG with 200, 000 doses in late June, with 2,500 doses already given to Chinese nationals in the country as a confidence builder.

Continue reading "Chinese vaccine starts mass rollout" »


Australian saboteurs block vaccine, says China

Panda & Roo (Chen Xia)
Cartoon by Chen Xia in the Global Times

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - China has made the extraordinary claim that Australia has planted political operatives in Papua New Guinea to undermine China's vaccine cooperation with Pacific Island countries.

The English-language Global Times newspaper, published in Beijing, accuses Australian ‘consultants’ of manipulating PNG’s Covid prevention policies.

Continue reading "Australian saboteurs block vaccine, says China" »