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Australia Shifts Its Tone at the Pacific Islands Forum

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According to many explanations, the Pacific Islands Forum was a success for Australia. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was confident when he evaluated the meeting with the island leaders earlier this week.

“I said I would listen. We listened,” he told reporters on Friday. “I said I pay homage. I pay homage.”

Albanese said Australia’s influence was “strengthened” by the conference. He didn’t say exactly how that week would affect China’s influence in the region, but his message was clear. If Australia is increasing our influence, it will. “

He hugged it with Manasseh Sogavale, the Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands. First interview Since signing a security agreement with China earlier this year, he has promised that there will be no Chinese military base in his country. Pacific Islands leaders have embraced the new Labor government’s more ambitious plan to reduce emissions, with a goal of 43% reduction by 2030.

On Wednesday, US Vice President Kamala Harris opened embassies in Kiribati and Tonga, reinstated the Peace Corps in the region, sent an American envoy to the forum, and the region.

“In recent years, we recognize that the Pacific Islands may not have the diplomatic attention and support you deserve,” she said. “So today I’m here to talk to you directly: we’re going to change that.”

This is a clear tone change for Australia and the United States, Negative And it ignores the area. It also reflects the importance of the Pacific as China, which is increasingly aggressive, is projecting its power in the region.Another proof of the growing importance of the region: this year’s conference Largest news media dispatch Still, journalists and scholars who regularly cover the forum said.

But have Australia and the United States done enough to restore relations in the region?

Wesley Morgan, a Pacific expert and associate professor at the Griffith University Climate Council, who attended the forum, said: But it will take some time to see how this week’s move unfolds, he added. The last communiqué of the forum hasn’t come yet.

The report that the forum is expected to declare an emergency in the Pacific climate is far from the last face-to-face meeting of 2019 when former Prime Minister Scott Morrison fought the leaders of the island nation. Drop the words of climate change into the water..

But “the Pacific island nations will continue to put pressure on Anthony Albanese to make more commitments,” Dr. Morgan said. He noted that Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, the chair of the forum, is looking for Australia to coordinate climate policy with the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The Pacific island nations are “well aware of the increased leverage in the context of intensifying strategic competition and are certainly trying to secure national interests,” Dr. Morgan added.

Experts point out that while the US announcement was well received by Pacific Islands leaders, the US has a long history of making promises to the region but not realizing it.

The island nation “is unlikely to support these overtures unless the United States and its partners are equal partners in negotiations on how the United States and its partners operate in the region.” I have written Anna Paulles, a lecturer at Massey University, and Joanne Wallis, a professor at the University of Adelaide. “And the presence of China means they have other options.”

This week’s story is as follows:


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