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23 September 2018

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'That was a tongue in cheek.'

As they used to say in Indonesia - 'join TNI and go to Freeport with an M16, come home with 16M [rupiah]'

That was a tongue in cheek comment Martin.

I was suggesting that Australia gaily goes ahead and re-establishes all its old bases.

I'll be less subtle in future.

'Maybe that needs to be looked at with regard to the Indonesians.'

Why?

What could we learn that we don't already know? What are they doing? Protecting their national interests? I'm shocked.

Protecting tuna in West Papua from theft by Chinese vessels in PNG waters? Bribing locals for a heads up on OPM movements or planned terrorist attacks on Freeport?

Monitoring Lae for OPM picking up guns shipped in from Mindanao? The odd hot pursuit? Inviting border dwellers to participate in the Indonesian hearts and minds Border Program of health clinics schools and markets? Or?

An Australian military base in Vanimo would be just the excuse TNI needs to demand more rupiahs for a new base in Skouw. Thereafter Australia would be accused of failing to prevent or worse supporting every OPM attack on Freeport. Encircled with US and ADF troops in Darwin and Vanimo ready to invade. Paranoia unbound.

Is this really the way to go when we're hoping to induce Jakarta to abandon neutrality and jump into the anti China bloc? IOM are training POLRI in West Papua in community policing.

It's a loooong way from IOM's migration mandate and skills set but isn't confidence building and transparency the way to proceed rather than 1960s paranoia?

There used to be an Australian military base at Vanimo.

Maybe that needs to be looked at with regard to the Indonesians.

So did Russia, Gabriel. I agree with your comments about Indonesia though.

Didn't China fight alongside the United States and Australia to contain Japan in very recent history? All of a sudden China is now the new boogie man of the world.

China remains the most successful socialist state that has defied all odds and has demonstrated the superiority of its socialist market economy which has contributed to lifting over 800 million of its people out of poverty.

China is now helping poor developing countries in Africa and the Pacific build critical infrastructure to help reduce poverty in those countries in exchange for their mineral wealth which China needs to sustain its rapid growth and, incidentally, the growth of the world economy including that of Australia and PNG.

China is certainly challenging the world order once dominated by Western institutions such as the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund and their failed prescription in addressing global poverty.

China does not need a naval base in New Guinea but it certainly does need a terminal port in northern New Guinea to cut the down time for its merchant fleet from southern China to reach South America.

Peru sits in a straight line from Vanimo on the other side of the Pacific and I will not be surprised if PNG offers China a terminal facility in that region. We certainly need Australia in Manus to keep an eye on Indonesia, not China.

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