Zed Seselja promises the Australian government to focus on Pacific security | Liverpool City Champion

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As tensions far away on the fringes of Europe between major world powers focus on destabilizing Indo-Pacific regional security, the government is poised to assure Australia’s neighbors that its investment in shared security and economic growth will not decline under the coalition. ACT Senator and Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Zed Seselja, will tell the Asialink Leaders Summit that the government will seek to broaden engagement in the region with additional funding for infrastructure and increased access to the education system Australian. It will also look at ways to strengthen Pacific media to deal with misinformation. Taking the example last week of a Chinese military vessel targeting an Australian maritime surveillance plane with a laser, the minister will warn that the risks of miscalculation and conflict were increasing. “Denial and inaction are the most dangerous traits these days,” Senator Seselja is expected to say in her keynote address to business leaders on Monday. “Coercion, misinformation and foreign interference are on the rise. These trends are hampering development, trade and economic growth but, more worryingly, undermining the trust and strong bonds we share.” Australia has supported Pacific countries in their elections, police and justice system, as well as investments in health that have prevented the region from destabilizing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and 12 cooperation programs from simultaneous defenses with countries in the region. More recently, Australia sent personnel to restore calm in Honiara at the request of the Solomon Islands government and sent support to Tonga after the tsunami natural disaster. The government will soon announce the deployment of a Pacific support vessel to help with natural disaster recovery, with procurement of the vessel now at an advanced stage. However, the region also faces economic exploitation due to vulnerabilities from the expected economic contraction. Predatory loans – like those from China – are of particular concern to Senator Seselja. It will contrast China’s “opaque loans for unprofitable assets” against Australian loans that have been offered on a transparent basis after debt sustainability assessments. “Lending for non-viable assets, which have little chance of paying off economically, burdens Pacific countries with unmanageable debt,” the minister is expected to declare. “It will be up to those governments to justify this to their people.” Australia has increased its diplomatic footprint in all countries of the Pacific Islands Forum, the only country to do so. The United States pledged this month to open a new embassy in the Solomon Islands and to further support the fight against climate change, illegal fishing and more vaccines on the way.

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ACT Senator and Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Zed Seselja, will tell the Asialink Leaders Summit that the government will seek to broaden engagement in the region with additional funding for infrastructure and increased access to the education system Australian. It will also look at ways to strengthen Pacific media to deal with misinformation.

Taking the example last week of a Chinese military vessel targeting an Australian maritime surveillance plane with a laser, the minister will warn that the risks of miscalculation and conflict were increasing.

“Denial and inaction are the most dangerous traits these days,” Senator Seselja is expected to say in her keynote address to business leaders on Monday.

“Coercion, misinformation and foreign interference are on the rise. These trends are hampering development, trade and economic growth but, more worryingly, undermining the trust and strong bonds we share.”

The government will soon announce the deployment of a Pacific support vessel to help with natural disaster recovery, with procurement of the vessel now at an advanced stage.

However, the region also faces economic exploitation due to vulnerabilities from the expected economic contraction. Predatory loans – like those from China – are of particular concern to Senator Seselja. It will contrast China’s “opaque loans for unprofitable assets” against Australian loans that have been offered on a transparent basis after debt sustainability assessments.

“Lending for non-viable assets, which have little chance of paying off economically, burdens Pacific countries with unmanageable debt,” the minister is expected to declare.

“It will be up to those governments to justify this to their people.”

Australia has increased its diplomatic footprint in all countries of the Pacific Islands Forum, the only country to do so.

This story Stick with Australia, not China: Zed Seselja promises government will continue to focus on Pacific security
first appeared on Canberra time.

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