August 17, 2022
Asia Pacific Australia news Australian politics Barnaby Joyce China Foreign policy Marise Payne news Pacific islands Peter Dutton Solomon Islands

Australia anxious to show it didn’t ‘drop the ball’ on Pacific after China and Solomon Islands deal

Canberra must walk a delicate line when responding to challenges presented by Beijing and Solomons’ security agreement

As China makes progress on a security deal with Solomon Islands, the Australian government is anxious not to be seen to have “dropped the ball” in the Pacific region. That would be a tad embarrassing, given it has spent the past few years sounding the alarm about security threats from China while also trumpeting its own “Pacific Step-Up”.

The deputy prime minister, Barnaby Joyce, has been one of the ministers on the defensive after leaked documents revealed the draft agreement between China and the Pacific island nation.

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