Despite the recent spotlight on Chinese aid and labels of China as an “emerging donor”, China has actually been delivering foreign aid since as far back as the 1950s. Indeed, China provided aid to North Korea for reconstruction purposes after the Korean War, along with Cambodia, Nepal and Egypt
PNG Prime Minister James Marape has concluded a week-long “Guest of Government” visit to Australia, including a stop at the Lowy Institute for a public address. Marape’s trip generated plenty of media interest on issues ranging from corruption, natural resource deals, relations with Australia
Last week, the Australian government hosted Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister James Marape on an official “Guest of Government” visit, just two months after Marape assumed the leadership of its nearest neighbour.
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison pulled out all of the stops, with
One evening every June for more than 20 years, a “Pacific Night” reception has featured as a mainstay of the diplomatic circuit in Washington DC. It is organised largely through the New Zealand embassy, and also sponsored by the Australian embassy and other Pacific island countries. This year,
For the first time since the Geneva Agreements of 1954, France has turned its eyes towards what is now termed the Indo-Pacific. The renewal of Paris’s interest in the region not only reflects a desire to tap on the wealth of rising Asia, but also Emmanuel Macron’s desire to restore France’s
In the first parliamentary sitting week following Australia’s recent election, a bill to amend the Migration Act was introduced and tabled in the House of Representatives. This follows the introduction of similar legislation in late 2018, which expired at the end of the previous parliament. With
When so many external “experts” have contributed reflections on the violence last week in Papua New Guinea’s Hela province, there is, I recognise, a point where another outsider does little more than fatigue and enrage local people. Nonetheless, I feel motivated to contribute to debate on the
Last week, China’s Defence Minister Wei Fenghe said his country was willing to deepen military ties with the Pacific. Later that week, Hugh White set out why he believes China might set up a military base in the Pacific. He also said Australia should stop trying to push Beijing out of the region
What counts as aid? Whether it’s disaster relief, infrastructure, or a much longer term and less visible type of development assistance, in the end it all comes back to money.
But the many differing types of aid does create awkward discrepancies when seeking to rank the contributions by nations
“The United States wants Australia to embrace a power role in the Pacific”, says US ambassador to Australia, Arthur Culvahouse. His statement followed the weekend G20 summit, where Prime Minister Scott Morrison and President Donald Trump also agreed that France needs to play a
The last few months in Papua New Guinea’s politics have been described as political “chaos”, “turmoil”, “upheaval”, “crisis”. The Australian newspaper even went so far to describe PNG as a “potentially disintegrating neighbour.” For Papua New Guineans, it was a mere harkening
When it comes to “stepping-up” in the Pacific, Australians get the what, they get the who, and they get the why. But they still have a long way to go before they’re convinced that spending more on foreign aid is in the national interest.
Attitudes towards the Pacific revealed in the
Gender equality is fundamental to human development. Papua New Guinea is Australia’s closest neighbour and biggest recipient of Australia’s bilateral development aid globally – but significant and persistent inequalities remain when it comes to the status of women in society, sexual violence
PNG’s Prime Minister James Marape met Australia’s High Commissioner Bruce Davis in Port Moresby, and took the opportunity to introduce his new Foreign Minister. This came as concerns are rising on Manus Islands as acts of self-harm by refugees are increasing.In parallel, the government of Papua
A group of adolescent girls in Solomon Islands huddle around a piece of butcher’s paper. They are considering their answers to a question put to them as part of a research project: What makes it so hard for girls and young women in Solomon Islands to finish high school?
The spur for the research
Scott and Jenny Morrison stepped out into the humidity of Solomon Islands historic Henderson airport earlier this week to a legacy Pacific welcome, a mix of indigenous traditions and colonial pomp.
Being decked in finely wrought shell necklaces by young island maidens before inspecting the tiny if
Papua New Guinea has a new Prime Minister. International coverage from the ABC highlights James Marape’s first speech, where he declared he wants PNG to become “the richest black Christian nation” in the world. The Australian notes that Australian PM Scott Morrison was one of the
When the news broke that Peter O’Neill had finally resigned from PNG’s top job last Thursday, it spread instantaneously, lighting up mobile phone screens across the country.
It was social media, much more than PNG’s traditional news outlets, that had bored away relentlessly at O’Neill’s
In the battle for diplomatic recognition between China and Taiwan, China clearly has the upper hand. Taiwan maintains formal diplomatic recognition with only 17 countries, as China refuses to allow dual recognition. While an informal truce existed for much of the Ma Ying-jeou presidency in Taiwan (
The Bhartiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Narendra Modi has secured his second term as India’s Prime Minister with a landslide victory in the 2019 general elections. He spearheaded the long drawn out election campaign by labelling himself as India’s watchman, while the opposition criticised him for
The past two weeks have been an anxious wait and see in Papua New Guinea politics, and will continue to be so until such time as a vote of no confidence takes place, if at all.
On 6 May, prior to the PNG parliament’s last sitting, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill released a statement that his
Pacific leaders met in Suva last week for a rare meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. They used the summit to ramp up demands that developed nations do more to fight climate change and promise deeper cuts to emissions.Bal Kamal analyses the political situation in Papua New
Leaders of the Republic of Palau, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) are well used to seeing each other. They share a neighbourhood in the North Pacific and meet annually at the Micronesian Presidents’ Summit to discuss strategies on key issues
The outcome of 12 May provincial elections, the last under peace agreements, hardens the atmosphere for essential political discussion about New Caledonia’s future beyond those agreements. While independence groups increased their representation in the territory’s Congress by one seat
The Pacific has undergone a foreign policy renaissance of sorts, with politicians and policymakers falling over themselves to proclaim their commitment to the region and its vital importance to Australia. Leaders of both major parties have been increasingly speaking about the region, while starting
As Australia prepares for its parliamentary elections, Congress elections are under way across the Coral Sea in France’s New Caledonia, with potentially game-changing impact on governance and stability there. Independence parties look set to increase their representation, which will heighten
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has announced he will visit the Pacific next week and attend a special meeting at the Pacific Islands Forum secretariat, aimed at building momentum ahead of the UN Climate Action Summit in September.Catherine Graue explains why Papua New Guineans are
Two Port Moresby hotels have been the backdrop for the story of PNG politics this past weekend.
Members of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s government are perched in the Crown, looking over the CBD as they negotiate to stave off a determined parliamentary challenge.
Up and over Burns Peak –
In the three years Sir Mekere Morauta was Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, from 1999 to 2002, he pursued an ambitious reform agenda. Some parts of that legacy have fared well, like the privatisation of the country’s state bank. Others, like political party reform, have fallen over in the
I was surprised and disturbed The Interpreter published the recent article (Australian media: missing in action on Bougainville) which included claims of a “paucity of coverage by the ABC of one of the most important running stories in the Pacific”.
As Managing Editor Asia Pacific
Solomon Islands went to the polls on 3 April for their 10th general election since independence in 1978. The turnover of incumbent politicians in Solomon Islands elections is usually high, with around half of all sitting MPs losing their seats in each election. The 2014 general election, however,
The Pacific, when measured by aid inflows as a proportion of GDP, is the most aid-dependent region in the world. Geographic remoteness, exposure to frequent natural disasters and vulnerability to climate change are several of the causes that make the region vulnerable.
Because of this
The ABC Managing Editor Asia Pacific, Kellie Mayo, has subsequently disputed aspects of this article; read her response here.
Bougainville – the autonomous region of Papua New Guinea which suffered a brutal 10-year civil conflict in the 1990s – was due to have a referendum in June to
Getting the leaders of five Asia-Pacific nations together for the photograph amidst the tumult of a APEC Leaders Summit in Port Moresby last November was a triumph of logistics.
But the last-minute scramble to get an upside down Papua New Guinea flag turned the right way up was maybe a sign of how
The Walkley Foundation launched the Sean Dorney Grant for Pacific Journalism, which aims to encourage more and imporved journalism about the Pacific islands region by Australian media professionals and outlets.The Financial Times has produced a great data visualisation video showing how China has
Both the Australian Labor Party and Coalition have expressed support for France to remain as a Pacific power, seeing the French Republic as a stable, democratic, Western ally at a time of growing Chinese influence in the Pacific Islands.
Australia’s neighbours are well aware that Australian
Australia’s parliament will vote next week on legislation to give the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC) an extra $1 billion in capital to fund Australian businesses to engage in infrastructure projects in the Pacific. Papua New Guinea has become the latest regional country to
Just a few kilometres separate Papua New Guinea and Australia at their closest point.
But when it comes to migration procedures, people on both sides of the Torres Strait can sometimes feel like the countries may as well be on separate planets. Visas remain a constant obstacle to building a
“The nihilist … acts out the violence that so many others perpetrate verbally and virtually on the web: he is, in that sense, the avenging angel of post-truth and the rant made flesh.”- The Revolt of the Public
The cold-blooded murder of 50 persons while at prayer at mosque in
Pity MIKTA. Not so long ago, Canberra had high hopes for this obscure grouping of countries – Mexico, Indonesia, (South) Korea, Turkey, and Australia. Former foreign minister Julie Bishop was a particular fan of this caucus of middle powers within the G20, a gathering separate from the
The Pacific region is facing dramatic challenges. Climate change, population booms, changing geopolitical competition, and increasing urbanisation are all forecast to drastically alter island life.
Compounding these challenges, however, is the reality that many Pacific island nations do not have
A murderous terrorist attack by an Australian white supremacist on two mosques in New Zealand does not, at first sight, look like a bilateral issue for Jakarta and Canberra.
But Retno Marsudi, Indonesia’s Foreign Minister, called in Gary Quinlan, the Australian ambassador in Jakarta, on Monday
Two tiny and uninhabited islands in the middle of the Pacific that have, to date, appeared relatively uninteresting have revived deep tensions between France and Vanuatu.
In 1929, France took possession of Hunter and Matthew Islands and attached their management to their then-colony New Hebrides,
Following the deadliest terror attack in New Zealand’s history, a flood of articles have been devoted to “understanding” the accused shooter, Brenton Tarrant, decoding his manifesto, and finding reason in his actions. Yet such assessments overlook a deeper, more chilling reality: Tarrant’s
The terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch by an Australian white supremacist accused of killing 50 people as they gathered for prayer has rightfully horrified people the world over. While police and security agencies grapple with how the attack came to pass without their
The forthcoming national elections in Solomon Islands in April have once again raised the issue of diplomatic relations between the Republic of China (hereafter “Taiwan”) and Solomon Islands. Prime Minister Rick Hou’s political party has said it will review Solomon Islands diplomatic relations
Stephen Dziedzic reports on the visit by two of Donald Trump’s top security advisers to the Pacific last week, noting that the creation of a director for Oceania & Indo-Pacific Security at the White House National Security Council (NSC) demonstrates a greater commitment by the US for re-
A refreshing wave of Pacific-mania is sweeping Canberra.
There’s new postings, a new Office of the Pacific, a high profile visit from the prime minister to the region, and two major announcements on Pacific infrastructure: the creation of the Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for
Media outlets across the ditch have been buzzing in recent weeks with fresh concerns over a potential downturn in New Zealand-China relations. Talk of the supposed souring has been especially prominent in Wellington, where worries have centred on the implications for New Zealand’s all-important