Published daily by the Lowy Institute

Pacific island links: Manus standoff ends, radioactive waste and tourist traps

Pacific island links from The Interpreter team.

Jellyfish lakes in Palau (Photo: Jeff Laitila/Flickr)
Jellyfish lakes in Palau (Photo: Jeff Laitila/Flickr)
Published 29 Nov 2017 

By Euan Moyle, an intern with the Lowy Institute's Pacific Islands Program.

  • PNG police have forced the over 300 refugees remaining at the Manus Island detention centre to the new Lorengau transit facility, bringing a month-long standoff to an end.
  • ABC has investigated the legacy of US nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands, with fears of radioactive waste leaks at a storage dump due to climate change and rising sea levels.
  • PNG has signed infrastructure deals with China as part of Beijing’s One Belt, One Road initiative to redevelop 1,600km of highway worth US$4 billion.
  • And in the meantime, PNG Treasurer Charles Abel has handed down the nation’s 2018 budget, which will cut spending and take out low interest loans to deal with record levels of debt. In the Devpol blog, Stephen Howes weighs up whether the budget will successfully deal with PNG’s continuing economic crisis.
  • Australia’s foreign policy White Paper, released last week, has placed a renewed focus on engaging with Pacific nations. James Batley, writing in The Interpreter, analyses how the White Paper has outlined Australia’s ‘step-up’ in the region.
  • French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe will visit New Caledonia this week, just days after New Caledonia’s Congress approved changes to voter eligibility for next year’s independence referendum.
  • China has banned travel agencies organising tours to Palau, one of the few nations that recognises Taiwan. Over half of tourists to Palau last year were Chinese.
  • Tonga’s rugby league team has lost to England after a fairytale run at the Rugby League World Cup Semi Final in Auckland. Thousands of Tongan fans, including King Tupou VI, were present as the team performed the traditional sipi tau before the game.

Pacific Research Program

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