Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has moved to counter China’s growing influence in the Pacific by announcing that it is time Australia make a “step-up to the Pacific.”
The PM is promising nearby Pacific nations closer economic, military and diplomatic ties, following a decade of Chinese expansion.
The comments, which were made without naming China, are reminiscent of former US President Barack Obama’s unfulfilled pledge of an “Asia Pivot,” made during a visit to Canberra — also a thinly disguised and largely abandoned strategy to check the advance of China.
Morrison aims to make the Pacific the center of Australian foreign policy. The centerpiece of that will be a $A2 billion facility to fund major regional projects.
He said Australia needs a “southwest Pacific that is secure strategically, stable economically, and sovereign politically.”
In Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s first landmark Pacific policy address, the newly installed PM said Australia will commit anew to the Pacific, setting up a multibillion-dollar infrastructure bank to fund projects in the region and appointing a series of new diplomatic posts.
“Australia will step up in the Pacific and take our engagement with the region to a new level,” the prime minister said Thursday.
“While we have natural advantages in terms of …read more
Source:: Businessinsider – Politics