• The coverage of China’s engagement in Vanuatu has continued in Australian news outlets, despite denials from all sides about the (pun intended) baseless claims.
  • This attention has resulted in some quality commentary from Pacific watchers. Dan McGarry writes in the Vanuatu Daily Post about how Australia can look to lead in the Pacific. Bal Kama has a good take over at the Devpolicy Blog. Graeme Smith delivers yet another incisive article, with a great title, for Inside Story. And Graeme Dobell has a interesting piece at ASPI’s The Strategist.
  • Sticking with Vanuatu, a volcano eruption on Ambae Island has caused mass evacuations and prompted the government to consider permanently resettling the island’s inhabitants.
  • In PNG, the government has officially reopened the Chinese aid–funded convention centre ahead of the APEC meetings in Port Moresby this year.
  • Meanwhile, leaders in the PNG Highlands are calling for more support as they clean up after the devastating earthquake in February.
  • Pacific leaders played an important role as moral compass in recent negotiations that resulted in a commitment by the global shipping industry to reduce climate change emissions.
  • Pacific leaders have also gathered in London for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, where Prime Minister of Fiji Frank Bainimarama is calling for enhanced efforts on climate change. 
  • French Polynesia is readying for its territorial election this week. In another bizarre story from the East Pacific, it appears that Chinese diplomats are squatting in their residence and refusing to leave.
  • Tess Newton Cain has conducted a fascinating interview with Rashmii Bell, editor of the recently released collection of work by PNG authors My Walk to Equality, about her experience as a PNG author.

The Lowy Institute is part of the  Pacific Research Program