Australia's Foreign Minister Visits Samoa, Tonga

    Photo: Getty Images [via SBS News]

    The Facts

    • Australia's FM Penny Wong departed on Wed. to visit Samoa and Tonga in her second visit to the Pacific aimed at strengthening ties in the region.

    • On a visit to Fiji last week, she declared that Canberra wants to cooperate with Oceania's nations to enhance regional security.

    The Spin

    Pro-China narrative

    Australia acts as a hegemonic colonist in the region, intimidating neighbors who don't follow its orders and belittling their climate change concerns. Cooperation with China has become popular with the Pacific Island nations, as Beijing helps them to tackle climate change while promoting economic development and social stability without the demanding political conditions of the West.

    Anti-China narrative

    China's interest in the Pacific Island nations is directly linked to its "Great Game" with the US, as Beijing seeks to create a sphere of influence in the Asia-Pacific. Pacific nations mustn't allow an outside power with malevolent intents to become in charge of regional security.

    Cynical narrative

    None of the powers with an eye on Oceania - including the US, Australia, New Zealand, China, and Japan - are taking the true security concerns of the Pacific Islands seriously. The region is threatened by severe climate impacts, but these powers are more concerned with their self-interest. The security and future of the Pacific must be determined by Pacific Island countries on their own.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 50% chance that there will be at least a 577-millimeter rise in sea level in 2100, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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