SAMFORD VALLEY, QLD - In late July, the Brisbane branch of the Naval Association of Australia, in collaboration with the DVA, hosted a public event to recognise the Coastwatchers of WWII.
This was held at Jack Tar Place on Brisbane city's South Bank, immediately adjacent to the Queensland Maritime Museum. Jack Tar Place is dominated by a statue of a sailor and the whole area is dedicated to honour all who served in the RAN, including the Coastwatchers.
Continue reading "Of brave men & colonial bastardry" »
Nuclear waste water from Japan is destroying the environment of the Pacific Islands, including the fisheries resources of the world’s largest tuna producer. Not only that, but the price Japan pays for Taiwanese and South Korean tuna is twice the price of Pacific Islands tuna, acknowledged as the highest quality tuna in the world.
In July, for example, Papua New Guinea exported tuna to Japan at below average market prices, both breaching the Nauru Agreement and leading to harmful competition between Pacific Islands countries.
Continue reading "Reject Japan’s lobbying over nuclear waste" »
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" »
ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENDERS OFFICE
FUNAFUTI, TUVALU - In September 2023, Tuvalu enshrined a new definition of statehood in its constitution. A world-first, the constitution asserts the State of Tuvalu will continue to exist, even if its landmass disappears under rising sea levels. In this interview, Dr Bal Kama, who advised the constitutional committee, shares some insights on this significant development for Tuvalu and beyond. Bal specialises in Pacific legal systems with expertise in Papua New Guinea constitutional law.
Continue reading "What to do if your country disappears" »
| Republished by Café Pacific with permission from Jubi News
Expert witness Dr Robert Masreng (back to camera) testifies during the treason trial of three Papuan students at Jayapura District Court last week (Theo Kelen, Jubi)
JAYAPURA - The trial of three Papuan “free speech” students accused of treason resumed at the Jayapura District Court last week.
The defendants — Yoseph Ernesto Matuan, Devio Tekege, and Ambrosius Fransiskus Elopere — have been charged with treason for organising a free speech rally where they were accused of raising the banned Morning Star flags of West Papuan independence at the Jayapura University of Science and Technology (USTJ) on 10 November 2022.
Continue reading "Academic explains students words of 'treason'" »
BONIFACE KAIYO & KEITH JACKSON
PORT MORESBY – On 1 May 1963, the United Nations transferred the administration of West New Guinea to the Republic of Indonesia. The capital Hollandia was immediately renamed Kota Baru.
West Papuan nationalism and desire for self-determination that had consolidated in the wake of the long deadlock between Indonesia and the Netherlands after Indonesia declared its independence at the end of World War II had not borne fruit.
Continue reading "Connecting the dots on West Papua, Part 3" »
PORT MORESBY – A survey of Facebook commentaries on West Papua shows that the Indonesian Embassy in Port Moresby has stepped up its social media activity.
This has exposed citizen journalists advocating for West Papua to a degree of toxic communication in recent weeks.
Continue reading "Connecting the dots on West Papua, Part 2" »
West Papuans holding placards calling for UN assistance after Indonesia’s invasion of West Papua in 1962 (Free West Papua Campaign)
Uti Possidetis Juris - The doctrine of international law stating that, upon the end of belligerence, territory and other property remains with its possessor
PORT MORESBY – The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) is the umbrella organisation for the pro-independence movements of West Papua.
It is an acronym that has captured the imagination and hearts of indigenous Papuans, and causes the greatest concern for Indonesian diplomats.
Continue reading "Connecting the dots on West Papua, Part 1" »
New Zealand pilot Philip Mehrtens flying for Susi Air held hostage by West Papua National Liberation Army on 7 February (Jubi TV screenshot)
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" »
New Zealand pilot Philip Mehrtens flying for Susi Air held hostage by West Papua National Liberation Army on 7 February (Jubi TV screenshot)
ASIA PACIFIC REPORT EDITOR
| Sources: RNZ Pacific and Jubi TV
AUCKLAND - The West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) has released a new video about New Zealand hostage pilot Philip Mehrtens and a Papuan news organisation, Jubi TV, has featured it on its website.
The Susi Air pilot was taken hostage on 7 February after landing in a remote region near Nduga in the Central Papuan highlands.
Continue reading "Hostage pilot appears in new rebel video" »
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" »
| Pacific Media Watch
AUCKLAND - The New Zealand-based media research and publishing group, Asia Pacific Media Network, has called for an “urgent rethink” on Papua New Guinea’s draft media development policy.
The Network said the PNG government’s proposed regulation plan for the country’s media council and journalists threatened a free press.
Continue reading "New PNG media plan ‘threatens a free press’" »
Egianus Kogoya sits on a wing strut of the captured aircraft. Pilot Phillip Mehrtens was taken hostage
YAMIN KOGOYA | Edited
You can read the unedited version of Yamin’s essay here
BRISBANE - After the West Papua National Liberation Army, the armed wing of OPM (Free Papua Movement), burned a small plane and kidnapped its New Zealand pilot Phillip Mehrtens on 7 February, the dark clouds that seal this frontier war opened to the outside world.
Across the globe, media outlets shared the story with two interpretations.
Continue reading "Egianus Kogoya: Is he Papuan hero or villain?" »
Happier times before his disappearance - Papua Governor Lukas Enembe with his people (Papua Government Facebook)
| Asia Pacific Report
BRISBANE - Today is exactly one month since the Governor of Indonesian Papua, Lukas Enembe was 'kidnapped' at a local restaurant during his lunch hour.
The officials involved were from the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and Indonesian security forces.
Continue reading "The kidnapping of Papuan Governor Enembe" »
“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" »
West Papua, the last frontier where humanity's greatness and wickedness are tested and where tragedy, aspiration and hope are revealed
BRISBANE - On 30 June the Indonesian parliament in Jakarta passed legislation to split West Papua into three more pieces.
The Papuan people's unifying name for their independence struggle, West Papua, is now being shattered by Jakarta's draconian policies.
Continue reading "West Papua: first one, then two, now five...." »
"Even in the hell of life, God reminds us of the beautiful gift of children. I reached out my hand as tears rolled down my eyes. Their gentle hands were rich in kindness, gratitude and smiles. I could not speak"
West Papuan refugees at Hohola with visitors from Caritas and the Catholic Bishops Conference who have supported them in Port Moresby and PNG’s border provinces (Reilly Kanamon)
PORT MORESBY – The plea from the West Papuan refugees in Port Moresby was resounding.
“All we long for now is a piece of land we can own. A piece of land that is all we need to rebuild ourselves, that is home to us.”
Continue reading "The brutal life of West Papuan refugees in PNG" »
Australia claims to be a friend and family to the Pacific, and it is true Australia has been an important aid donor for decades. But gratitude for this aid is tempered by scepticism about who it actually helps
Prime ministers Sogavare and Albanese - sweet talk of 'family' is no substitute for a genuine and equitable relationship
DOROTHY WICKHAM, TARCISIUS KABUTAULAKA et al*
| Pursuit | The University of Melbourne
MELBOURNE - Last week, Solomon Islands prime minister Manasseh Sogavare and Australia’s Anthony Albanese met in Canberra for the first time, less than a month after Australia offered to fund Solomon Islands’ elections to avoid delay.
Since Solomon Islands signed a security pact with China earlier this year, the country has garnered unprecedented global attention.
Continue reading "Solomons partnership must be truth-based" »
As has become customary in the Blinkenesque argot, one takes the management waffle with the occasional candid remark. China, the obvious target in this deeper regional engagement by the US, is not mentioned once.
GSOMIA (General Security of Military Information Agreement) is a military intelligence sharing agreement between Japan and South Korea (Map by ABC)
| Pearls & Irritations
MELBOURNE - If ever there was a blatant statement of realpolitik masquerading as friendliness, the latest US-Pacific Island declaration must count as one of them.
The Biden administration has been busy of late wooing Pacific Island states in an effort to discourage increasingly sharp tilt towards China.
Continue reading "Opportunism reigns: US-Pacific Declaration" »
Spokesperson Rifai Darus said Governor Enembe's home is being closely guarded by thousands of people, including his close relatives
Governor Enembe undergoing medical treatment. He's believed to be the target of an Indonesian power struggle over Indigenous administrations in Papua (Pacific Pos)
| Asia Pacific Review | Edited
AUCKLAND - Governor Lukas Enembe of Indonesia’s Papua Province has been banned from travelling abroad, preventing him from undergoing vital medical treatment in the Philippines.
It is believed the popular governor of Melanesian Papua is the target of an Indonesian power struggle over Indigenous administrations in the region.
Continue reading "Ill Papua governor banned from treatment" »
Veterans in Pacific media must be in a strange position. To see a space so often ignored suddenly taken over by a cacophony of clueless commentators
Jacinda Ardern talks to journalists in Suva - the Murdoch press perceived
the New Zealand prime minister as confrontational, and called her 'hostile'
| Twitter @iamprianka
MELBOURNE - Being part of Pacific media is amazing. So many talented, supportive journalists, doing great work for the love of a region so often under-resourced by world press
But I've noticed this love can sometimes spoil into an awful territorialism. And I want to talk about it.
Continue reading "And remember - it's not always about China" »
Questions remain about whether the Pacific Islands Forum can adapt mechanisms from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to manage the heightened attention that comes with big power competition
ANNA POWLES & JOANNE WALLIS
| East Asia Forum | Edited
CANBERRA - In the recently agreed 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent, and before that the 2018 Boe Declaration on Regional Security, the Pacific Islands Forum is seeking to both define the challenges facing the region and to identify solutions.
Southeast Asia has long been the object of great power rivalry, but ASEAN has, despite criticism, acted as a fulcrum around which big power jostling is stabilised.
Continue reading "Can the Pacific Forum learn from ASEAN?" »
“We struggle to hold this country together,” Sogavare said, stating that SIBC had been broadcasting news based on misinformation and deliberate lies that had caused anxiety in the public
The newsro/om at Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation
| Island Sun - Pacnews
SUVA, FIJI - Solomon Islands prime minister Manasseh Sogavare has accused the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation (SIBC) of deviating from its purpose of uniting the country.
Responding to a question in the Solomons parliament, Sogavare said SIBC is a statutory body and service provider that continues to receive funding from the government.
Continue reading "Promote unity, Sogavare tells broadcaster" »
In September 1974, Déwé Gorodé and Susanna Ounei were arrested for protesting against ceremonies that commemorated the colonisation of New Caledonia. It was the first of three stints in jail, and in prison she wrote poetry and joined other young people to reflect on the role of women in the independence movement
Déwé Gorodé during a visit to Melbourne in August 1987. The text on the whiteboard reads:
"My country is Kanaky" in her language Paicȋ (The Age).
Yesterday before they landed
in our history
of roots recited
of origins memorised
who you were exactly
what your place was
in the world of our people
It’s up to you, my mother,
it’s up to you, my sister
to try and find out….
‘Millenia’ by Déwé Gorodé, written in Camp Est prison, 1974
Continue reading "Déwé Gorodé: champion of Oceanic culture" »
The only appropriate and adequate justice left for Papuans is to be given back their sovereignty. This is the only way to have decades of violence against them reconciled
YAMIN KOGOYA | Extract
Link here to Yamin’s complete article in Asia Pacific Report
BRISBANE - Sixty years ago today — on 15 August 1962 — the fate of the newly born nation-state of West Papua was stolen by men in New York.
The infamous event is known as The New Agreement, a deal between the Netherlands and Indonesia over West Papua’s sovereignty.
Continue reading "The day W Papua was stolen from its people" »
Ten countries should be considered for quotas: PNG, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste & Vanuatu (currently very limited access to Australia); Kiribati, Tuvalu & Nauru (climate-affected atolls); Fiji, Samoa & Tonga (good access to Australia via New Zealand)
| DevPolicy Blog | Edited extracts
CANBERRA - Australian foreign minister Penny Wong was putting it mildly when she noted “a positive response” to the new Labor government’s confirmation it would introduce a new permanent residency visa category for the Pacific.
Under the Pacific Engagement Visa scheme commencing in July 2023, each year 3,000 visas will be issued annually via a lottery with country-specific quotas.
Continue reading "The Pacific Visa quotas need to be strategic" »
Australia should be encouraging Pacific Islands nations to join it in forming a regional bloc that thinks for itself, makes its own rules and sees to its own future
This World War I propaganda poster has new meaning as the US faces threats at home and abroad
TUMBY BAY - Jeffrey Sachs speaks a lot of sense but, as he says, no one wants to listen to him.
There are a lot of people like Sachs who people go out of their way to ignore. Among them are climate scientists and epidemiologists.
Continue reading "The US is sick: Time to think for ourselves" »
The Pacific Islands Forum was happy to welcome rookie prime minister Anthony Albanese, but his attempt to brag about Australia’s ‘influence’ in the Pacific was seen as unwanted political game-playing
Anthony Albanese goes for the selfie money shot but the rookie Australian prime minister has a bit to learn about the practice of diplomacy
TESS NEWTON CAIN & STEFAN ARMBRUSTER
| DevPolicy Blog
BRISBANE - Last week’s meeting of leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) was keenly anticipated and came at a critical juncture for the region.
It was the first in-person meeting since Tuvalu in 2019. Since then, a lot has happened.
Continue reading "Smiles in Suva: but the map ahead is unclear" »
"University of South Pacific is only one of two regional universities in the world, and arguably one of the few tangible outcomes of Pacific regional integration” - Professor Albert Schram
Solomon Islands student Dale Pala wants regional governments to sort out the USP mess - 'When they come here students say we are one people, one ocean’
NOOSA – It’s been a while since this blog touched upon happenings at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji.
The deportation of vice-chancellor Professor Sal Ahluwalia and his wife Sandra Price in February last year, and the subsequent withdrawal of Fiji’s funding from the regional university, have kept the issue alive.
Continue reading "Pacific uni strife continues as funds dry up" »
“We will embark on a new chapter in our partnership, a chapter with increased American presence, where we commit to work with you in the short and long term to take on the most pressing issues that you face"
US vice-president Kamala Harris addresses Pacific Forum leaders yesterday (Sam Sachdeva, Newsroom RNZ)
| Radio New Zealand Pacific | Edited
AUCKLAND - United States vice-president Kamala Harris has assured Pacific Islands Forum leaders who are meeting in Suva that the US will “significantly deepen” its engagement in the region.
Harris virtually joined the regional leaders to announce half a dozen new commitments including establishing embassies in Kiribati and Tonga, tripling funding for economic development and ocean resilience and the appointing the first-ever US envoy to the Forum.
Continue reading "We're back in the Pacific big time, says the US" »
The ABC has been told that dialogue partners meetings will not be held during the Forum, effectively locking out politicians and officials from countries outside the region
ABC News | Edited extracts
Link here for Stephen Dziedcic’s complete article
CANBERRA - The Pacific's peak diplomatic body looks set to exclude the United States, China and several other major countries from a crucial leaders meeting in Fiji next month.
The move has been analysed as helping to shelter the Pacific Islands from intensifying geostrategic competition in the region.
Continue reading "Pacific Forum to keep US & China on the outer" »
General Austin says the US is prepared to step up to be a leader and a guarantor of a free and open Indo-Pacific. "Big powers carry big responsibilities," he says
US defence secretary Lloyd Austin addresses the Shangri-La Dialogue summit in Singapore on Saturday (CNN)
BRAD LENDON & OREN LIEBERMANN
| CNN | Edited extracts
SINGAPORE – On Saturday, United States defence secretary Lloyd Austin called out China and vowed the US would stand by partners after a series of coercive, aggressive and dangerous actions that he said threatened stability in Asia.
"Indo-Pacific countries shouldn't face political intimidation, economic coercion or harassment by maritime militias," Austin said in a keynote speech to the Shangri-La Dialogue, Asia's premier defence conference.
Continue reading "China accuses US of garrisoning the Pacific" »
While the final few years of Coalition rule saw rapid growth in Pacific labour mobility, they were also years in which policy coherence began to suffer, if not fall apart
The Pacific Australia Labour Mobility scheme has staggered forward but now promises the prospect of both temporary and permanent migration to Australia
| DevPolicy Blog | Edited
CANBERRA - The Coalition government led by John Howard was disastrous for Pacific labour mobility.
By contrast, the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison government was very good for it, though at the end the limits and contradictions of its approach were apparent.
Continue reading "Pacific labour mobility: staggering upward" »
'I think the key thing is to build a relationship based on mutual respect. It can't be a transactional relationship where our interest waxes and wanes. A deeply respectful relationship is key'
Pat Conroy MP, wife Keara and their children and prime minister Anthony Albanese after the new Australian ministry was sworn in last month
NOOSA – Richard Marles is now Australia’s deputy prime minister and defence minister.
When I met him about 10 years ago, he was the Labor government’s parliamentary secretary for Pacific Islands affairs and I was unimpressed.
Continue reading "PNG & the Pacific score a minister for action" »
Following the Chinese foreign minister's media-unfriendly 10-day tour, frustrated Pacific journalists hope that in future "there will be a more concerted effort to defend media freedom against creeping authoritarianism"
| Pacific Media Watch | Edited
AUCKLAND - Timor-Leste, the youngest independent nation has the most fledgling media in the Asia-Pacific region.
But the country’s president has just offered a big lesson to its Pacific Island neighbours in tackling Chinese media gatekeepers and the creeping authoritarianism that is threatening journalism in the region.
Continue reading "China gatekeepers threaten Pacific media" »
After a decade of neglect, and in some cases mockery, alliance repair in the Pacific Islands will not be achieved by policy shift alone
CLEVELAND QLD – We in the south-western Pacific find ourselves in a volatile regional situation that we have not seen since 1942 and where we are unsure of precisely, or even generally, of what might happen.
Perhaps our first problem is that we do not fully understand the intentions of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the effective government of China.
What we do know is that the CCP through president Xi Jinping is in firm control of the country and that Xi, providing he makes no significant strategic errors, will remain in place for the predictable future.
Continue reading "A muted battle for the Pacific is enjoined" »
Washington is acting like Taiwan is already a fully-fledged ally and is willing to risk a regional war that can easily spin out of control
| South China Morning Post
HONG KONG - For Washington, containing China is more important than risking the lives of millions of people in the Asia-Pacific region.
Such a war will, after all, be fought on the other side of the world, so far as ordinary Americans – already sold on the evil of communist China and the benevolence of their own country – are concerned.
Continue reading "Is the USA prepping AsiaPacific for war?" »
Australia needs a Catch-Up not a Step-Up in its relationship with the Pacific Islands, and this week started on the long diplomatic journey
Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi (Tiziana Fabi, Reuters)
NOOSA – China is now seeking to build upon its existing diplomatic relations with 10 Pacific Islands countries with what it terms ‘a comprehensive strategic partnership featuring mutual respect and common development’.
It has been working towards this wider alliance since November 2014, when President Xi Jinping met in Fiji with the Pacific Islands states with which it had diplomatic relations.
The concept was more clearly defined in November 2018 when, during the APEC summit in Port Moresby, Xi held a group meeting with Pacific Islands leaders which further elevated the strategic relationship.
Continue reading "China’s long head start in the Pacific" »
Australia must be agile in building a foreign policy that can balance its relations with both the United States and China
Anthony Albanese, Joe Biden, Narendra Modi and Fumio Kashida - geniality marked the recent Four Eyes summit in Tokyo but China's ambitions for the Pacific Islands could mark the onset of a new Cold War
MUHAMMAD ABDUL BASIT
| Independent Australia
SURFERS PARADISE - The recent China-Solomon Islands pact has sent waves of discomfort through the US and its allies, particularly Australia. Security concerns have been felt in Canberra to Washington.
As China allegedly seeks to develop a military base in the Solomon Islands and increases its sphere of influence, the power dimensions in the region may change.
That makes the – yet unrevealed – agreement a matter of curiosity and serious concern for Australia and its allies.
Continue reading "Solomons deal puts Australia in crosshairs" »
Biden’s failure to include a Pacific Islands nation in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework may prove to be a shocking oversight
Foreign ministers Penny Wong and Wang Yi - as Biden makes a strategic blunder, the contest for influence in the Pacific Islands heats up
NOOSA - The Chinese and Australian foreign ministers are arriving in the Pacific Islands today on separate missions to reinforce their influence in the region.
And, as US president Joe Biden announced the creation of an Asia-Pacific economic bloc to counter China’s dominance, China proposed to 10 Pacific Island countries that they enter into a cooperation agreement covering policing, security and data communications.
Continue reading "Wong & Wang hit Pacific as US bungles bloc" »
ADELAIDE -It is hard not to become despondent when you see Pacific Islands nations left out of Biden’s Indo-Pacific Economic Framework – a 13 nation initiative designed to curb China’s influence in the region.
It seems the United States, and the West in general, have not learned from history.
Were open warfare to eventuate between China and Western powers, it is certain the Pacific Islands would become a major arena for combat.
Continue reading "Biden must invite PNG into economic bloc" »
Australia's foreign minister Penny Wong - "We'll do more, we'll do it better, we'll listen"
| Radio New Zealand Pacific | Asia Pacific Report
AUCKLAND - Australia’s new foreign minister, Penny Wong, says the Labor government “will be a generous, respectful and reliable member of the Pacific family”.
In a message to the region, Wong set the tone for Australia’s renewed priorities for its island neighbours.
Continue reading "Penny Wong's new deal for the Pacific" »
US president Joe Biden on Monday in front of a giant map of the Korean peninsula. If the goal is to stifle China, why overlook the Pacific Islands?
The omission of PNG and the Pacific Islands from the alliance is both a misguided decision and a missed opportunity
NOOSA – It’s a bold if obvious idea that crept onto the agenda while we in Australia were having a general election.
It’s also a flawed idea but, given its general air of contempt towards the Pacific Islands, I’m not surprised the Morrison government let it slide.
Continue reading "New Asia-Pacific economic bloc excludes PNG" »
| Pearls & Irritations | Edited
Exploitation and abuse of Pacific Islands workers will be turbocharged as their numbers are being ramped up
CANBERRA - One of the symptoms of exploitation in the Pacific Access Labour Migration Scheme (PALMS) is the number of workers who abscond from their employer and apply for asylum.
Since late 2019, over 3,500 people from the Pacific Islands and Timor-Leste have applied for asylum.
Continue reading "The mess that is the Pacific workers scheme" »
Illustration - David Rowe (AFR)
NOOSA – “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results.”
An epigram usually attributed to Albert Einstein, although there’s no evidence he said it except that it is typical of the great man’s witticisms.
Last night Marise Payne met with Solomon Islands foreign minister Jeremiah Manele in Brisbane to discuss The Most Recent China Problem. Einstein would have understood.
Continue reading "China, Solomons & the Oz diplomatic omnishambles" »
'Dad's Army' (Dionne Gain, Sydney Morning Herald)
NOOSA – In Australia the issue was characterised incorrectly by the media as an ‘agreement to allow Chinese armed forces to protect Solomons infrastructure, less than 2,000 kilometres off Australia’s east coast’.
This was a significant overstatement. Under most definitions, the role of police is hardly considered to be ‘armed forces protecting infrastructure’.
But, you know, journalisms.
Continue reading "Wisdom of Solomons? No, another stuff up" »
Cartoon by Hudson
NOOSA - This week, Australian citizens observe what seem to be the final paroxysms of the Morrison government as its lamentable record in office and surprisingly poor campaigning leave it in a shambles.
Nothing symbolises this more than the fallout from a series of appalling blunders concerning Solomon Islands, which from my perspective looks suspiciously like a friendly flag operation gone wrong.
Continue reading "Australia's frail PNG-Pacific relationship" »
| Crikey | Extracts
MELBOURNE - Capitalising on Scott Morrison’s persistent problems over his Solomon Islands debacle, Labor maintained the unusual foreign policy theme of the campaign so far by unveiling its Asia-Pacific strategy this morning, with Penny Wong standing in for Anthony Albanese.
A half billion dollars in extra aid over four years, an expanded Pacific labour scheme under which participants can bring family members, and a new class of permanent migration visa — these form the core of the policy, along with an unspecified ‘Pacific Climate Infrastructure Financing Partnership’.
Continue reading "Pacific: ALP unveils as Morrison flails" »
Manasseh Sogavare, Kurt Campbell and Lieutenant General Stephen Sklenka, deputy commander of the US Indo-Pacific command
NOOSA - Following what he described as a friendly and productive meeting on Friday, Solomon Islands prime minister Manasseh Sogavare said his country and the US were committed to strengthen their relations by working together on issues of mutual concern.
Sogavare said he had warmly welcomed Kurt Campbell, the United States coordinator for Indo–Pacific affairs, and his delegation and welcomed the US decision to re-establish an embassy in Honiara.
Continue reading "Sogavare: Talks a success; US to 'do better'" »
Bush hails ‘sheriff Australia' (BBC News). Every day looking more like the Sheriff of Nothingham
| The Village Explainer
| Courtesy Asia Pacific Report
“If we can’t respect the equal standing of nations, we can’t protect their integrity” – Dan McGarry
VILA - If the coming election goes to Australia’s Labor Party, Senator Penny Wong is very likely to become foreign minister.
So when she speaks, people across the region prick up their ears.
Continue reading "Did Xi shoot the sheriff?" »