17 May 2017

Crowded and Complex: The Changing Geopolitics of the South Pacific

Joanne Wallis 

This report contends that Australia faces an increasingly crowded and complex geopolitical environment in the South Pacific region. While the most important external powers in this part of the world have traditionally been Australia, New Zealand, the US and France, a number of new powers are becoming increasingly active, most notably China, Russia, Indonesia, Japan and India. Furthermore, South Pacific states such as Papua New Guinea and Fiji are also emerging as local influencers in their own right. Due to the South Pacific’s proximity and strategic importance to Australia, the text’s author concludes that Canberra must respond to the ‘crowding’ of the region by focusing on it in a clear, consistent and sustained way.




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