ASIA PACIFIC UNION

Australian and NZ bullying In Pacific

Press Release: Pacific Network on Globalisation
Pacific Churches, and Pacific trade watchdog, release report on Australian and NZ bullying to launch Pacific free trade deal

Today the General Secretary of the Pacific Conference of Churches has released a report documenting the use of ‘power politics’ by the Australian and New Zealand governments to push Pacific island countries to launch free trade negotiations at the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ meeting in Cairns next week.

Chinese hack Melbourne film festival site to protest at Uighur documentary

Chinese hackers have attacked the website of Australia's biggest film festival over its decision to screen a documentary about the exiled Uighur leader, Rebiya Kadeer.
"The language has been vile," Moore told the Melbourne Age. "It is obviously a concerted campaign to get us because we've refused to comply with the Chinese government's demands."

FULL ARTICLE HERE

China becomes world’s wealthiest state

PRAVDA
China’s gold and currency reserves have recently hit the mark of $2 trillion. The nation can now boast of having the largest state reserves in the world. The Chinese people save up to 75 percent of their country’s GDP in spite of the fact that China does not pay pensions and does not have free of charge education and healthcare systems.

Call for public submissions on PACER Plus

Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) formally invites public submissions and comments on a prospective trade and economic agreement between Australia, New Zealand and Forum Island Countries.

The Forum Island Countries are: the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, the Solomon Islands Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. The Fiji Interim Government is currently suspended from attending Forum meetings.

TRADE: AUSTRALIA’S GETTING THE PLUS IN PACER

TRADE: AUSTRALIA’S GETTING THE PLUS IN PACER
Is Canberra a bully? Or are islands ministers softies?
BILATERALS.ORG Samisoni Pareti

Out of the nine resolutions made by trade ministers in the Pacific at their meeting in Samoa last month, seven were said to be concessions to their bigger neighbours of Australia and New Zealand.

These concessions relate to the proposed free trade agreement between the two Trans-Tasman neighbours on the one hand and the 14 smaller Pacific islands countries on the other, now commonly referred to as PACER Plus.

Niue issues ultimatum for New Zealand

A diplomatic stoush over aid has developed in the midst of John Key's Pacific mission. The Niuean Premier has issued an ultimatum that New Zealand must front up with cash for tourism development or he will turn to China for help instead but Key says he is not troubled by the threat.

Many young people are likely to leave Niue and head to New Zealand for their education or to find jobs. That is creating real pressure on the economy because it leaves Niue with a desperate shortage of skilled workers. New Zealand already gives a lot of financial support to Niue, $21 million this year for just 1600 residents.

FULL ARTICLE HERE

Australian PM wants Asia-Pacific union

CHINADAILY
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said Wednesday that he wants to see an Asia-Pacific Community by 2020 structured similar to the European Union.

Rudd said there was a "brittleness" in bilateral ties, and that while regional bodies like ASEAN and APEC had achieved much, there was a need for a region-wide architecture to tackle the growing challenges of the Asia-Pacific century.

China moves to censor home computers

TELEGRAPH
The Chinese government wants all computers sold in China after July to come with software that automatically censors the internet.

The move will give the government unprecedented control over what can and cannot be seen on the internet. In recent weeks, China blocked access to a host of websites, including Hotmail and Twitter, and expressed worries that the internet was becoming a tool of protest.

Consensus view that Asean has 'special role' to play in proposed Asia-Pacific grouping

There is clearly a consensus that Asean has to be at the centre of any new Asia-Pacific security architecture that emerges to grapple with security challenges such as piracy, terrorism and natural disasters.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, also the Defence Minister, was speaking to reporters after hosting lunch for his defence counterparts yesterday, on the second day of the Shangri-La Dialogue.

This is an annual meeting, held since 2002, of defence ministers, officials and military brass from 27 countries.

Asean, being at the centre of the region, had a 'special role' to play in such a set-up.

'It is also an honest broker, and Asean might be a good fulcrum for bringing together all the different countries in the different sub-regions in the Asia-Pacific,' he added.

Kevin Rudd Makes Biggest Pitch Yet For New Asia-Pacific community.

BRISBANE TIMES
THE Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, issued a stark warning to leaders in the Asia-Pacific last night: act now to build better regional co-operation or risk conflict on the scale of that experienced by Europe last century.

In a major speech in Singapore, delivered to regional military and security leaders at the Shangri-La Dialogue, Mr Rudd said managing power relations in the context of the rise of China and India would be "crucial for our collective future".

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