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13 May 2013


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If Luke Johnson's comments reflect the real reason for all the grand visits we've been getting from the mighty and powerful of this world in recent times, then I say let them come.

I'm sure we can give all of them a bit of our TLC if they feel unloved and want someone to love them.

Whoever they are and wherever they come from, at the end of the day, we must decide what is best for PNG and how best to engage with them to further our own national interests.

We must be careful not to allow their motives to dictate how we engage with them.

PNG first in everything we do please!

Mr Johnson, your comments make sense. The real issue is China's influence thus control over the south-west Pacific causing US to look this way.

Australia then simply wants to look good in front of US being the closest to PNG to say we have PNG...

Just trying to understand.

I have not yet seen any commentary regarding the US "pivot" towards the Pacific being a prism through which this most recent succession of Australian diplo-political visits could be partially interpreted.

Julia Gillard and Bob Carr have, through various means, strengthened Australia's ties with the Obama Administration. However Australia's influence within its Pacific region has been less than consistent or effective - viz Fiji - during the Labor Party's two terms in office.

Coming hard on the heels of Gillard's "succesful" recent visit to China to strengthen the political and economic relationship up there, these recent Australian visits to PNG can perhaps be partially interpreted as a late run by a terminal Australian Government to craft a message of relevance to its region and to its US alies - that despite Australia's strengthening position of engagement with China, it is in the Pacific that Australia maintains a regional influence that is aligned with US interests.

The "importance" of Australia's role in the south-west Pacific is given attention through these posturing visits despite the fact that little of enduring significance was achieved during the visits themselves.

Well said PNG Attitude.

I thought Julia Gillard's time in PNG was part of her campaign. She achieved nothing.

The Fiji PM's visit was more brotherly and with real meaning.

Either the death penalty is a domestic PNG issue or it isn't. The author of this article doesn't seem sure on how he wants it.

First decrying any attempt by Australia to influence the debate in png then doing a backflip and conceding that maybe it wouldnt be such a domestic issue if "important partners" (and notorious death penalty advocates) the USA, China and Indonesia got involved.

What makes them more important to png than Australia? The Australians are far and away the most important relationship, much more so than USA and China and arguably more so than indonesia.

How many PNGeans do you think would take advice from China seriously, how many would listen to what the Indonesian government does and take that seriously?

The author was perhaps a bit subtle for you, Roose. No backflip here. I was pointing out the latent hypocrisy of Australia telling PNG what to do while remaining silent on its views in respect of other important partner counries which have the death penalty - KJ

Keith, a good summary. Nothing of much substance was either gained or resolved. The visa issue may have gone backwards.

It's certainly stuck in the mud, Kevin. I hope Julie Bishop may respond on this one - KJ

Ehya! Pastaim mi tok wanem ya! Gillard's visit is nothing more that enjoying the opportunity to strut the stage before the inevitable demise happens. It also might (hopefully in some small way) turn attention away from the domestic situation.

If you knew there was only a limited time to enjoy the sunlight, wouldn't you make the most of it? Especially if someone else was paying.

Keith, you are quite right to ask what will the Australian current opposition do if they win government? That's the $64 question?

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