Albo’s real test competes with China


“The Chinese – having failed to achieve consensus on their latest proposal – will be folding their tents and redirecting their expansionist ambitions to other parts of the globe more easily infatuated,” says the columnist. ROBERT MACLIN.

The Albanian government’s response to Chinese courting of our Pacific neighbors is pretty much about money.

Robert Maclin.

It focuses on the new government’s climate change policy. And that leaves new immigration measures open to boost islanders into temporary and permanent jobs in a country that is clamoring for people to fill a range of desperately needed skills.

Add to that a program to raise the level of education of islanders at home and in Australia. Coordinate policy with Jacinta Ardern’s New Zealand, and the Chinese – having failed to achieve consensus on their latest proposal – would end up folding their tents and redirecting their expansionist ambitions to other parts of the globe more easily infatuated. .

It won’t be easy and there will be speed bumps along the way – like providing even more housing in a market that’s stretched to breaking point; and a labor movement seeking to raise wages at a time of rising inflation.

But the real test will be continuing to compete with China in an arena where behind the goal posts at one end is the Defense Establishment – led by Drum Major Dutton – barracks for battle. While in the press box, Murdoch’s media lights up fans in the cheap seats to wave the fight flags. And as usual, the old generals will fight the last war in the Pacific.

It was then that my former boss, John McEwen, as Minister of External Affairs in 1940, staged a coup against the Vichy French administration in Japan-linked New Caledonia, replaced them with Free French Volunteers and took the Vichy people to Vietnam in a Norwegian. cargo. This deprived the Japanese of an airbase in Noumea, and an American general later told him that it had shortened the war by six months.

The parallels are obvious, especially since Albo clearly established an immediate friendly relationship with Joe Biden during the Quad meeting in Japan.

But let’s not forget the smoke and the mirrors that mask all these manifestations of eternal friendship and diplomatic loyalty.

A corner of the Quad, the Indian Narendra Modi is only a democrat in name. Every instinct of man leads him on the path of Hindu autocracy.

Its administration is completely corrupt and torn apart by caste madness. He refuses to condemn Putin’s war on Ukraine, let alone join in the West’s support for the defenders.

In another corner, Joe Biden faces disaster in the midterm elections that will see him lose the House of Representatives and the Senate; and with the Supreme Court already in Republican hands, he will be a lame duck even if he is there to seek a second term in 2024. And since Vice President Kamala Harris lost all the support she briefly enjoyed and the rest of the Democrat closet is empty, either Donald Trump or his equally creepy Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis, will rumble in the Oval Office. And neither would care about the South Pacific, the climate “hoax” or Joe’s buddy Down Under.

This is not necessarily bad news. But that means we shouldn’t be dependent on Quads or ANZUS treaties – and especially not AUKUS where Britain and the US are only in it for the money – as a fleet in -Marine.

However, there is an obvious alternative: we could finally accept our geographical reality and have the common sense and maturity to develop our own independent foreign policy, one that incorporates an agreement with the South Pacific, Indonesia and South Asia. -East. We could seek our security no of Asia but in Asia? Or has someone else already said it?

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Ian Meikle, editor


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