My brother-in-law was a patrol officer before independence. Followed PNG politics ever since.
Apparently desperate not to upset anyone, the Prime Minister announced on Sunday at the APEC summit that, along with Australia, the United States, and Japan, New Zealand would contribute to a grand electrification scheme in Papua New Guinea. Presumably she thought not even the bullies in Beijing might object to that – so deals and donations might be safe (the only “values” evident in her foreign policy) – and she could throw a (pretty modest) bone to the countries we used to be allied with.
But it disconcerts me on two fronts. The first is the way that, looking across the Pacific, New Zealand and Australia (and perhaps Japan and even the US) seem to be wanting to play the game Beijing’s way. Beijing flings cash around in a somewhat cavalier way, in some mix of decent and poor quality projects, some mix of the transparently obvious and…
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