Australia Urges Strengthening Defense Ties with Papua New Guinea to Counter Chinese Influence

Australia’s Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, has pledged to strengthen ties with its neighbor Papua New Guinea today, amidst increasing tensions in the Pacific region due to China’s increasing influence. Albanese was the first foreign leader to address the Papuan legislature in person, where he had struck an appeal to the “family” of the Pacific in the face of the growing influence of Beijing.

The prime minister had announced the speedy conclusion of negotiations on a security treaty covering “law and order challenges” and offering Australian help in the many internal challenges facing the impoverished, but resource-rich nation. This announcement came after the conclusion of China’s security deal with the Solomon Islands in April, commonly seen as a move towards a larger agreement with a dozen small island states of the Pacific.

Australia, under the new government, has established itself as a key ally of PNG and the largest recipient of Australian aid, estimated to reach A$480 million by 2023. This reiterates Canberra’s commitment to the “friendship” and ties that unite the two countries.

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