Australia choses a negative path in the Pacific
No US/Australia Base on Manus Island
The behaviour of Australia at the APEC Forum in Port Moresby this week (17-18 Nov 2018) resulted in greater tension and dangers of conflict along with the bellicose US. The announcement of an Australia/US/PNG military base on Manus lsland is a disgrace. It is said that the facility will be a PNG base at which Australia and the US will just happen to have elements of their navies. Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne stated that the “details have not been worked out yet.”
“We have heard this statement before,” said Denis Doherty of the Australian Anti-Bases Campaign. “In the case of Darwin it meant that Australia paid the full $2.2 billion to build a base for US marines. It means the US will not take any orders from Australia as to what it will or will not engage in. It means US service personnel who break local laws will be tried in the US courts.
“When the details are worked out we know that Australia will pay the bulk of the costs for the PNG base.
“We know the people of Manus, already sorely tried by Australia’s scandalous refugee policy, will have the bear the brunt of Australian and US servicemen’s criminality. This is not a deal to help PNG but a selfish act by players who are used to being colonizers and exploiters of the Pacific,” Mr Doherty said.
According to a letter in the Sydney Morning Herald, “PNG is experiencing an unprecedented health crisis – inadequate human resources, the revival of polio after two decades of absence, a high incidence of tuberculosis and HIV, and medicines scarce in most rural areas. Life expectancy is almost certainly falling. Remarkable then, that as the budgetary provision for overseas aid is at its lowest on record, we – and the United States – can think of no better contribution to PNG than to build a bigger and better naval base on Manus Island.”
In the region Australia has relied on the US to lead it and the US has led us up the garden path yet again. This means that Australia will pay in dollars and then probably in blood as Vietnam and Korea. Australia had the choice to promote peace and cooperation with between China and the US but instead chose to go with regional tension and competition.
Economic development is unequal within and between countries in the world. The stated aim of China’s belt and road program is to even out development. It is tragic that Australia has turned its back on this for selfish ideological reasons.
Overall, the Australia has set itself on a path of regional tension and competition. These decisions represent nothing but a thrust towards war with a huge potential costs for all Australians.