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Analysts and academics from universities and thinktanks from Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific and China have attended a workshop convened by the Department of Pacific Affairs at ANU on 3 and 4 June 2019. This activity was funded by the Australia-China Council.
The first day of the workshop was open to the public and provided an opportunity for participants to present examples of their research on a range of issues, from elections to land use, education, economic development, traditional and new players in the region, and the Pacific’s role in regional dynamics. A number of participants from Australia and the near-region commented that it was refreshing to hear Chinese perspectives on competition in the south Pacific given the newspaper column inches that have been taken up on the topic in recent times. Chinese scholars said the workshop provided an excellent opportunity to promote mutual understanding between them and their counterparts in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific.
The second day was given over to discussion of how a network bringing together analysts and academics from Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific and China could work in practice. There was general agreement that such network had the potential to enrich academic debate on a variety of issues, in particular, the growing attention Pacific Island countries are receiving from traditional and new international players.
For more information on the network, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org