Saturday, November 17, 2018

APEC host Papua New Guinea doesn't need cheap cash and hollow promises, it needs a genuine solution

Christian Edwards, provided by Business Insider,

Papua New Guinea Peter O'Neill China Xi Jinping APEC Port Moresby
uncaptioned image from article
  • A mini Pacific Game of Thrones will be going down this weekend as Papua New Guinea plays host to 21 nations at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Port Moresby.
  • Australia and China in particular will be vying for influence and they already have the checkbooks out.
  • China's President Xi Jinping is already on the ground in Papua New Guinea for a state visit.
  • But Bridi Rice, the Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Australian Council of International Development and a former Australian government anti-money-laundering adviser to Papua New Guinea says the country needs genuine partners, not handouts. ...
According to Rice, also a current La Trobe University research candidate on Australia’s aid program in Papua New Guinea, inclusive infrastructure investment may be welcome, but other reactive expenditure on short-term public diplomacy [JB emphasis] is simply ineffective.

Such efforts in an attempt to increase Australia’s profile and influence in the region come to nothing, when the have no long-term benefits."

"(New infrastructure investment) should not come at the cost of what we know works — that is — long-term relationships, deep cultural understanding, and development cooperation which works primarily in the interests of the countries where Australia works,” Rice told Business Insider. ...

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