The Pacific step-up: Will it work and what happens if not?

As China’s influence extends into Australia’s immediate neighbourhood, Scott Morrison has quickly put Pacific affairs at the centre of his foreign policy. But is his embrace of the “Pacific family” too late? What risks do China and other foreign players pose? And is Canberra now neglecting other vital concerns in the South Pacific, including the threat of climate change and the challenges facing Australia’s fast-growing neighbour, Papua New Guinea?

This video recording of our panel event held on 23 July 2019 features some of Australia’s leading foreign affairs and Pacific experts.

James Gilling, Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade Emeritus Professor Hugh White AO, Strategic & Defence Studies Centre, ANU Associate Professor Katerina Teaiwa, School of Culture, History and Language, ANU Dr Graeme Smith, Department of Pacific Affairs, ANU Australian journalist and author, Mary-Louise O’Callaghan chaired the panel discussion.

The panel examined Australia’s security and diplomacy challenges, such as China’s growing reach into the Pacific and the impact that climate change will have in reshaping Canberra’s ties with its Pacific neighbours.

The panel event was presented by the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs (ANU), coinciding with the launch of the July 2019 issue of Australian Foreign Affairs, “Our Sphere of Influence: Rivalry in the Pacific”.

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