Category: Pacific Region

Kiribati withdrawal rocks Pacific Is Forum – Michael West

The withdrawal of Kiribati, which switched its recognition from Taiwan to Beijing in 2019, is being interpreted as a deepening of China’s influence. “Regionalism is playing such a big role,” Ms Dreaver said.

Source: Kiribati withdrawal rocks Pacific Is Forum – Michael West

Australian Diplomacy in the Pacific Is Driven by Self-Interest

Australia’s Labor government is promising Pacific countries a new and friendlier era in diplomatic relations. But without challenging the vested interests and right-wing politics that dominate the region, these promises are altogether empty.

The new opposition Liberal Party leader (and previous immigration minister) Peter Dutton was famously caught on camera joking about the threat of rising seas to Pacific Islands. This was just one example of the “disrespect” Penny Wong has repeatedly referred to on her Pacific tour.

But Australia’s neglect of its climate commitments and the existential threat it continues to pose to its neighbors is not fundamentally an attitude problem. It’s a problem of interests.

Source: Australian Diplomacy in the Pacific Is Driven by Self-Interest

US delegation to visit Solomon Islands on China pact concern

Remember when Abbott was declared the “Pivot of the Pacific” he turned out to be a Europhile and ignored the title and got rid of Radio Australia. Meanwhile, Morrison and Dutton began to really prod China and he and Dutton have rapidly become the twin “Pillocks of the Pacific”. They lost our biggest trading partner and the respect of the now American government who have rushed in to form AUKUS and are setting up an embassy in the Solomon Islands because dumb and dumber were making such a mess of things. Biden couldn’t even remember Morrison’s name.

The LNP had cut Foreign Aid, They turned Aid into a quid pro quo transactional and commercial arrangement while Dutton publicly mocked the Pacific region’s concerns about Climate Change. As a result, the Americans have sent in the cavalry. However, not only because of Australia’s neglect in the Pacific but their neglect at home. They are about to occupy Australian sovereign territory itself, and guess what we are leasing and paying for the privilege of allowing them to storm in and make us a new global target. Do the math  90% of Australians live in just 5 cities and the American bases we are about to pay for aren’t going to be in any wilderness. America has left the Philipines and are about to relocate here and we will pay.

In February, the United States announced it would open an embassy in the Solomon Islands, part of an effort by the Biden administration to commit more diplomatic and security resources to the Indo-Pacific to counter China’s drive for greater influence. The Solomon Islands said in March that it was creating a partnership with China to tackle security threats and ensure a safe environment for investment in what would be a major inroad for Beijing in a region that US allies Australia and New Zealand have for decades seen as their “backyard”.

Source: US delegation to visit Solomon Islands on China pact concern

Heavy-handed approach to aid has disenchanted Pacific Island nations and compromised Australia’s security | Nick Bisley and Shahar Hameiri | The Guardian

Solomon Islands foreign minister, Jeremiah Manele, with China’s foreign minister Wang Yi.

With the arrival of Abbott our Foreign Policy in the Pacific had a major shift. Australia Radio vanished after 75years and Foreign Aid became far more transactional. It became more business than aid. Abbott clearly had his sights on stronger relationships with Europe rather than the Pacific Islands. The LNP allowed for a vacuum to develop in the Pacific Region. They gifted it to their friends China.

As the Pacific’s biggest aid donor, Australia has often taken a heavy-handed approach, trying to dictate to Pacific islanders how to run their governments and public institutions. Much of its aid also ended up in the pockets of Australian companies and consultants. Many in the region resent this. Chinese presence constrains Australian paternalism. It has also led Australia to pledge more money for infrastructure, which the Pacific sorely needs. Additionally, while Australia sees China as its biggest security threat, the Pacific associates that level of danger with climate change, not China. Australia’s dismal approach to climate change mitigation, and disapproval of Pacific climate activism, rankles. Granted, China is not itself a climate change paragon, but Australia’s claim to regional leadership has been harmed. A progressive-realist approach would recognise that China is in the region to stay, because Pacific governments want it there. Hence, leading in the Pacific does not mean kicking China out, as efforts to achieve this would probably backfire.

Source: Heavy-handed approach to aid has disenchanted Pacific Island nations and compromised Australia’s security | Nick Bisley and Shahar Hameiri | The Guardian

China does not want war, at least not yet. It’s playing the long game

Rather than rely solely on the US, Australia should bolster its own defence capabilities. At the same time, it should collaborate more with regional partners across Southeast Asia and beyond, particularly Indonesia, Japan, India and South Korea, to deter further belligerence and mitigate the risk of tensions escalating into open war.

Source: China does not want war, at least not yet. It’s playing the long game

What does the splitting of the Pacific Islands Forum mean for Australia? – ABC News

The coastline of the Pacific nation of Tuvalu.
Remember Dutton, Abbott and Morrison at BOOMGATE; They were opening up the Pacific for China

Five Micronesian leaders declared they were quitting the organisation, accusing other Pacific Island nations of treating them with neglect and contempt.

What does the splitting of the Pacific Islands Forum mean for Australia? – ABC News

Asians out! Not in this suburb. Not in this apartment

News Corp raised the hatred of Muslims from 9% to 33% and proved it’s ability to create and not just report Islamophobia. It’s now doing the same with the Chinese. Scott Morrison has taken over from Abbott’s anti- Russian bent and his abandonment of the Pacific Region. However is he only dancing to America’s tune in being so anti- Chinese? (ODT)

Sinophobia in Australia is also emerging in debates about housing investment, donations to political parties, university campus politics, the purchase of agricultural land for mining, as well as general concerns about Chinese government influence, geopolitics and human rights issues in China. Public debate is appropriate, but emerging hysteria and sensationalism are shifting into animosity towards people with Chinese heritage in Australia.

via Asians out! Not in this suburb. Not in this apartment

Malaysian king agrees to pardon prime minister hopeful Anwar Ibrahim

The Malaysian king has agreed to grant an immediate pardon to the twice-jailed former opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, clearing the way for his re-entry into politics and eventual ascent to the prime ministership.

via Malaysian king agrees to pardon prime minister hopeful Anwar Ibrahim

At 92, former strongman Mahathir is Malaysia’s comeback kid

Mahathir claims historic victory in incredible Malaysian election

Mahathir used security laws to put his political opponents behind bars. His critics say he restricted free speech and persecuted political opponents – none more so than his former deputy, Anwar Ibrahim, who remains in jail on charges of sodomy and corruption.

Mahathir has joined hands with Anwar in this campaign and has promised to seek a royal pardon for him. He has vowed to then step aside and let Anwar be prime minister.

Mahathir was masterly in playing to the feelings of the mainly Muslim ethnic Malay majority. His 1970 book, The Malay Dilemma, argued that ethnic Malays, whom he called the nation’s rightful owners, were being eclipsed economically by ethnic Chinese.

Faced with a leadership challenge after just five years in office, Mahathir detained more than 100 opposition politicians, academics and social activists without trial, under internal security laws.

via At 92, former strongman Mahathir is Malaysia’s comeback kid