Sunday 23 Sep 2018 | 13:18 | SYDNEY
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The many questions about China’s Vanuatu ambition

What to make of the extraordinary story in Australia’s Fairfax newspapers on Tuesday about reported discussions between China and Vanuatu that could allow the People’s Liberation Army to establish a presence in the South Pacific nation? If true, there would be significant cause for

Vanuatu: flailing, not drowning

On Monday The Australian published an article titled “Pacific nations drowning in Chinese debt”. It suggests that a large number of recent “white elephant” projects are becoming an unsustainable burden on Pacific Islands countries. Although this contains a kernel of

Pacific island links: PNG politics, Ambae, Tsai’s visit and more

By Euan Moyle, an intern in the Lowy Institute's Pacific Islands Program. Sam Basil, leader of the Pangu Pati, has been appointed a Minister for Communications, Information Technology and Energy in the PNG Government, several weeks after he defected from opposition. PNG opposition MP Bryan

Tanna: Bare feet on the Oscars red carpet

The Pacific is abuzz with the news that the film Tanna, released in 2015, has been nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Foreign Language Film category. Directed by Australian documentary-makers Bentley Dean and Martin Butler, the film was shot entirely on the island of Tanna in the southern

Vanuatu's neglected international airport

By Jonathan Pryke, Research Fellow in the Lowy Institute's Melanesia Program and Matthew Dornan, Deputy Director of the Development Policy Centre Vanuatu is the 9th most tourism-dependent country in the world. The tourism sector accounts for between 40% and 65% of GDP (measures vary by year and

Snap election in Vanuatu may lead to generational change

Vanuatu goes to the polls today in a snap election brought about by a parliamentary bribery scandal, which culminated in the jailing of 14 MPs in October last year. The MPs, including the Deputy Prime Minister, lost their seats as a result and early elections were announced on 7 December 2015.

Vanuatu: Bribery scandal might yet improve politics

The saga over bribery and pardons in Vanuatu has brought out the worst and the best in the Pacific island nation's political-legal class. Vanuatu's Supreme Court found 14 members of parliament guilty of the criminal charge of bribery on 9 October. Later that day, in flagrant disregard for the

Rebuilding paradise in Vanuatu

Cyclone Pam has been one of the worst natural disasters the Pacific has ever seen, and the small island nation of Vanuatu was hardest hit. The immediate disaster relief effort is crucial but it is important to realise that the devastating impact of this disaster will be felt in Vanuatu for years to

Post-cyclone aid to Vanuatu

By Jenny Hayward-Jones, Director of the Lowy Institute's Melanesia Program and Philippa Brant, Research Associate  The full extent of the devastation wrought by Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu and to a lesser degree Tuvalu, Kiribati, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea, is not yet