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Friday, 18 January 2019 13:37

PM Scott Morrison's visit to Vanuatu and Fiji

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After decades, for the first time, an Australian Prime Minister set foot on Fiji and Vanuatu. This week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison visited the two countries. For Australia this is like keeping the promise made two months ago. At that time Australia was committed to pouring funds of up to 2 billion US dollars in grants and soft loans to Pacific countries. What made Australia suddenly open its maneuver to the east, which had been neglected? Apparently the People's Republic of China has approached the Pacific region in eastern Australia since 8 years ago. The money poured out by Beijing for cooperation with countries in the Pacific has reached 1.3 billion US dollars. That amount places China as the number 2 donor country after Australia. Another thing is President Xi Jin Ping's 4-day visit in Papua New Guinea in the series of his attendance at the APEC Summit in Port Moresby. Australia is actually in a dilemma. If it disturbs Beijing in the Pacific region, Australia will also accept the consequences because Beijing is a key trading partner. Yet, Australia and its main ally, the United States are worried that China will not only build trade relations but also place military bases in the region. Australia must also be clever to play a role so that its relationship remains good with both the US and China which currently are involved in a trade war. China entered the Pacific to reduce Taiwan's influence in the region. Taiwan, a country that is not recognized by Beijing, has helped many Pacific countries. Of course with the aim that they support Taipei. The presence of Beijing has prompted several Pacific countries to cease their  support for Taiwan. If Australia is in a state of anxiety, this is not the case with Pacific countries. They were suddenly like having a windfall because of the kindness  race between Australia and Beijing. The problem is, a  good deed usually  deserves another.

Read 573 times Last modified on Monday, 21 January 2019 07:54

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