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Five things we learned about China’s ambitions for the Pacific from the leaked deal

Opinion by Dr Anna Powles Ten years ago, Pacific security thinkers would debate whether Chinese engagement in the Pacific was by default or by design. The leaked draft of the regional and economic agreement China is hoping will be signed by 10 Pacific nations next week answers that question. It reveals the ambitious scope of Beijing’s strategic intent in the Pacific...

Disaster prevention, risk reduction, critical to sustainable future: UN deputy chief

The world will experience 1.5 medium to large-scale disasters every day through the end of the decade, unless countries ramp up action on prevention and risk reduction, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said in Bali, Indonesia, on Wednesday. Mohammed was speaking at the opening of the Seventh Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction - the first international forum on the...

China, Australia launch duelling South Pacific charm offensives

Chinese and Australian foreign ministers will launch duelling charm offensives in the South Pacific Thursday, as Beijing and the West jostle for influence in the strategically significant region. Top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi is expected to arrive in Solomon Island's capital Honiara, kicking off a lengthy, eight-nation regional tour. Australia's recently sworn-in Foreign Minister Penny Wong will meanwhile touch down in...

Egypt says climate finance must be top of agenda at Cop27 talks

Financial assistance for developing countries must be at the top of the agenda for UN climate talks this year, the host country, Egypt, has made clear, as governments will be required to follow through on promises made at the Cop26 summit last year. Egypt will host Cop27 in Sharm el-Sheikh in November. The talks will take place in the shadow...

Pacific Tourism Organisation appoints Petero Manufolau as new Chairperson

The Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) is pleased to announce the appointment of Petero Manufolau as its new Board Chairperson. The SPTO Board of Directors endorsed the announcement of Manufolau, CEO of the Tourism Authority of Kiribati, as the new Chairperson at its Board meeting today. Manufolau has previously held senior management positions in both private and regional tourism organisations, specialising in...

New Zealand extends troop deployments to Solomon Islands till May 2023

New Zealand on Wednesday said it would extend the New Zealand Defence Force's deployment to the Solomon Islands until at least May next year, amid concerns among Western allies about China's growing presence in the South Pacific. New Zealand deployed troops to the Solomon Islands at the request of the nation's government in late 2021 after rioting broke out in...

Quad unveils satellite-based maritime initiative to counter China

The U.S, Japan, Australia and India have launched a satellite-based initiative to help countries in the Indo-Pacific region track illegal fishing and unconventional maritime militias, in their latest effort to counter China. President Joe Biden and the other leaders of the Quad security grouping unveiled the scheme in Tokyo at their fourth summit in just over a year. The Quad, which...

Solomon Islands media boycott Chinese foreign minister’s visit to Honiara

Media Association of Solomon Islands (MASI) has issued a boycott notice to its members for the PRC Press event scheduled for Thursday. MASI President, Georgina Kekea said MASI is disappointed that media is only allowed limited access for the visit. Kekea said Solomon Islands is a democratic country and when media freedom is dictated on someone else’s terms, it then impedes...

China seeks Pacific Islands policing, security cooperation – document

China will seek a region-wide deal with almost a dozen Pacific islands covering policing, security and data communications cooperation when Foreign Minister Wang Yi hosts a meeting in Fiji next week, documents seen by Reuters show. A draft communique and five-year action plan sent by Beijing to 10 Pacific islands ahead of a foreign ministers meeting on 30 May has...

Solomon Islands journalists shut out of China foreign minister visit, raising secrecy concerns

Pacific journalists have raised serious concerns about secrecy surrounding the upcoming marathon tour of the Pacific by China’s foreign minister, who will be visiting eight countries in 10 days. Wang Yi will visit Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste and Fiji between 26 May and 04 June, on a tour of the region that has...

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Fiji joins U.S-led Indo-Pacific economic initiative on eve of Chinese visit

Fiji will join the U.S-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework just days before China’s foreign minister lands in the country, giving the Biden administration a victory...

Australian Foreign Minister Wong warns Pacific leaders against dangers of division over China

New Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong is lobbying Pacific Island nations not to sign up to a sweeping multilateral security, economic and cyber pact...

New Zealand and allies allowed ‘vacuum’ to develop in Pacific, former foreign minister says

New Zealand and its allies have failed to listen to “alarm bells” about China’s growing influence, and allowed a “vacuum” to develop in the...