Australia will double its funding for aerial surveillance of the Pacific islands vast fishing zone and provide financing for Pacific islands to build more resilient infrastructure.
For Kirsty Needham's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
The PM's personality is now a liability, with public attacks from members of his own party and polls showing his government on track to lose to the Labor Party in the May 21 election.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison saw a hawkish stance on China as an electoral strength. But now his party is on the back foot on national security.
The move has heightened concerns in Canberra about the potential for a Chinese military presence less than 2,000 kilometers away.
With a national election due by May, the government would have aimed to use the Morrison account to promote its policies during the Chinese New Year celebrations starting Feb. 1.
The first flights from Australia and New Zealand landed in Tonga on Thursday with much-needed supplies of water for sanitation and hygiene as well as shelter, communication equipment and power generators.
The delivery of the supplies brought in by aircraft was contactless to ensure Tonga remains free of the coronavirus.
The comments by U.S. Indo-Pacific coordinator Kurt Campbell were apparently in reference to possible Chinese ambitions to establish Pacific-island bases.
Concerns about China's fusion of military and civilian technology have grown in recent years.
The U.S. has warned that the firm is amassing and analyzing data that could give China a path to economic and military advantage.