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Top level Chinese delegation headed to Kiribati

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is to visit Kiribati on Friday for four hours as part of a Pacific tour to strengthen security ties in the region. It’s the first top level bilateral meeting between the two countries since Kiribati switched allegiance to China from Taiwan in 2019. Concern is mounting over a potential security deal following the PRC’s recent controversial...

Vanuatu to stop exporting kava to Fiji

Vanuatu appears ready to stop exporting dried kava roots to Fiji after years of Fijian producers failing to acknowledge that their exports contain imported produce. The CEO of the Vanuatu Primary Producers Authority Timothy Tumukon indicated on local media that Vanuatu would be better off exporting directly to Australia where it could value-add to its product. “Export to Australia and not...

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus re-elected to lead the World Health Organisation

The Member States of the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Tuesday, re-elected Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to serve a second five-year term as Director-General of the world’s leading public health agency. First elected in 2017, his re-election by secret ballot, was confirmed during the 75th World Health Assembly in Geneva. He was the sole candidate. The vote was the culmination of an...

Former Samoa PM Tuilaepa & Lealailepule suspended indefinitely for contempt of Parliament

Leader of the Opposition HRPP Party and Samoa’s longest serving Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Maliegaoi and HRPP Party Secretary, Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi have been suspended indefinitely from Parliament. Parliament Tuesday upheld the findings and recommendations of the Privileges and Ethics Committee that found the two Members of contempt of Parliament and breaching parliamentary privileges. The committee investigated the complaint filed by...

Japan hosts Quad summit seeking unity on countering China

Leaders of Japan, India, Australia and the United States met in Tokyo on Tuesday, looking to put China on notice as it expands its military and economic influence in the region. The summit of the grouping known as the Quad comes a day after US President Joe Biden said Washington would be ready to intervene militarily to defend Taiwan, prompting...

China’s foreign minister to visit Solomon Islands amid push for more deals with Pacific countries

China’s foreign minister will visit Solomon Islands this week, one month after signing a security agreement with the Pacific country, on a broader tour where China is seeking more deals in the region. Wang Yi would visit Honiara with a “nearly 20-member delegation”, the Solomons’ government confirmed on Tuesday, calling the trip a “milestone”. “The highlight of the visit is the...

Australian PM Albanese says climate change top issue for Pacific island nations

New Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Tuesday climate change was the main economic and security challenge for low-lying island counties in the Pacific, referring to a region in which China has been extending its influence. “The region is looking to us to work with them and to lead by example,” he said in Tokyo during a meeting of...

Two Tongan Cabinet Ministers granted stay of unseating, special Appeal Session in July

Two Tongan Cabinet Ministers, who were found to have committed bribery in the lead up to the November 2021 General Election, have been granted a stay of execution in their judgements, until their appeal is heard and determined. It is understood that there will be a special Appeal Session scheduled for July. Lord Chief Justice Whitten QC granted the first stay...

USP Council raises concerns over finance risks

The University of the South Pacific’s Council has raised concerns about the financial and operating risks arising out of Fiji’s withheld grant, compounded by the COVID-19 economic impacts. In a statement, the USP says apart from continued attempts to talk with the Government of Fiji, the Council was looking at other measures to deliver its core business without compromising the...

Quad praises Albanese government’s higher ambition on climate

By Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra The Quad summit in Tokyo has praised Australia raising its ambition on climate change, after Anthony Albanese told fellow leaders his government would do more to assist Pacific countries address it. Albanese stressed Australia’s revised climate policy during the meeting, attended by US president Joe Biden, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India,...

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