On top of staving off a China telco monopoly, underwriting the purchase would show the government is putting big money on the table to get ‘blue chip’ companies to invest in the Pacific. Originally published in the Australian Financial Review
On 20 July, after a long period silence on the issue, the Brunei Darussalam Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement declaring that it “maintains its two-step approach in addressing the South China Sea”. As bland as this statement sounds, it represents a critical development in the tiny
China’s efforts to marginalise Taiwan and promote its “One China” policy has been a challenge for many countries. Some have diplomatic relations with Beijing while continuing to pursue trade and cultural links with Taiwan.
The US can do this because it is a global power. This was clearly
Australia’s depleted international broadcasting is impairing the projection of Australia’s soft power at a time when government is seeking to increase its regional influence, particularly in the Pacific
“Debt trap” diplomacy has been a recurrent rallying cry for critics of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and its overseas infrastructure lending activities. Over the past two years, this debate has taken centre stage in the Pacific, with China accused of drowning these tiny economies in
After a public, protracted, and somewhat torturous process, the government of Solomon Islands last week decided to sever ties with Taiwan in favour of the People’s Republic of China. Days later, in sharp juxtaposition, Kiribati suddenly broke ties with Taiwan too, catching everyone by surprise.
The focus of the Pacific Islands Forum and its Secretariat is securing the future prosperity and wellbeing of the “Blue Pacific”. The Forum seeks genuine partnerships with all actors who are willing to join us along the pathway towards that vision. Therefore, I reject the terms of the dilemma in
On 26 November, China confirmed it was in talks with Djibouti to construct its first overseas military base. This represents a major symbolic and practical step in China's emergence as a global military power.
According to a Chinese spokesman, the new military 'support facilities' will provide
Four key narratives help explain the way that China acts in and interprets the world, providing a more nuanced guide to China’s aims and ambitions and helping to shape more effective responses to China
Several posts on The Interpreter have argued recently that Australia should join the US in conducting freedom of navigation operations (FONOPs) in the South China Sea. This is not a good idea for several reasons, not least of all is how our involvement would be perceived in the region.
The difference between freedom of navigation operations (FONOPs) and warships transiting under 'innocent passage' sounds arcane and legalistic. But this wonkish distinction is now central to understanding the nature of the US Navy’s activities in the South China Sea last week and going
After much internal debate and soul searching, the US has conducted its first 'Freedom of Navigation' operation in the South China Sea for several years. It will not be the last and we are fast approaching the point at which Australia needs to decide whether it will assert, with more than
So, the much-heralded US freedom of navigation (FoN) operation in the South China Sea has finally seen daylight. The designated lead, the USS Lassen, is a guided missile destroyer which has already been patrolling the South China Sea in recent weeks. After leaving port in East Malaysia this
In this Lowy Institute Report Nonresident Fellows Linda Jakobson and Rory Medcalf identify both the real differences in interests between China and other powers in the Indo-Pacific, but also the sharp divergences in perceptions regarding China’s maritime strategic objectives
Jenny Hayward-Jones is Director of the Lowy Institute's Melanesia Program and Philippa Brant is a Research Associate at the Lowy Institute.
Pacific Island leaders have had the rare opportunity to meet the international leader of the moment, Narendra Modi, and the president of the world's
I was in Fiji last week to get an update on Chinese assistance to the country, as part of a larger project I'm doing mapping Chinese aid activities in the Pacific islands, to be launched in early 2015.
Navua Hospital, built with Chinese aid assistance, Fiji. (Author photo)
Fiji is becoming
Chinese Assistance in the Pacific: Agency, Effectiveness and the Role of Pacific Island Governments
Philippa Brant and Matthew Dornan
Asia & the Pacific Policy Studies
Please click here for full online text
By Jenny Hayward-Jones, Director of the Lowy Institute's Melanesia Program, and Philippa Brant, a Lowy Institute research associate.
The Abbott Government last night brought down the first annual aid budget since the integration of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and AusAID
China today is using economic statecraft more frequently, more assertively, and in more diverse fashion than ever before. Yet fears of Chinese economic coercion should not be overdrawn. In many cases, China’s use of economic statecraft has been counterproductive.
In an opinion piece in The Australian, Jenny Hayward-Jones writes that instead of speculating on the hidden intentions of China’s growing engagement with the Pacific Islands region, Canberra's priority should be to assist Pacific Island countries maximise the economic benefits of China'