Friday, September 26, 2008

Caption: The Long-March II-F carrier rocket carrying the Shenzhou-7 spaceship blasts off from the launch pad at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province, on 21:10 p.m., Sept. 25, 2008. (Xinhua/Li Gang)

China's march to space and its global implications

By Mathew Yakai, Changchun, China

“THE Chinese people today march towards space technology…..” Chinese President Hu Jintao declared fifteen minutes after the successful launching of Shenzhou - 7.

Shenzhou-7 blasted off at 9:10pm Thursday 25th carrying three astronauts, Zhai Zhigang, Liu Boming and Jing Haipeng, all aged 42, the first generation of astronauts.

President Hu was at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch center in Gansu province with other top Communist Party leaders to see China’s Long-March II-F rocket carrying Shenzhou – 7 space craft blast off into space.

Zhai Zhigang will walk in space, placing China’s pace at space walk after the former USSR and USA in human space history.

China Daily reports the space tasks include releasing a small monitoring satellite and satellite data relay.

Shenzhou, in Chinese means “Chinese wide landmass”. What is interesting is that after the successful launching and return of Shenzhou – 7, Shenzhou – 8 and Shenzhou – 9 will be inbuilt with space station released to space and Shenzhou – 10 will be manned to finally build China’s first space station.

This will place China, one of the largest remaining developing communist countries against Soviet Union and USA in space technology.

China’s international commentators immediately commented that China’s space exploration is neither driven by military operation nor arms race like during the Cold War period between the former USSR and USA. China is different with its own reasons.

The reasons are yet to be known but if any closer, current China’s foreign policy depicts all its on earth and outer space operation for scientific and peaceful co-existence of humanity on a win-win situation while non interference in other sovereignty.

The time table depicts that China is not in a race with any countries but itself committing its own resources and technological know-how.

Professor John Simpson Lewis of Arizona University, USA commented on the state owned CCTV 9 television few minutes before the launching that Shenzhou – 7 has no elements of race or showing-off because all is happening during the progressive scientific development today.

This implies that China is now at par with the 21st century space technological development.

This is China’s first time to send three astronauts to space together after a total of 66 successful launches without any accident since its interest in space exploration.

The successful launching took place immediately after the hosting of 2008 Summer Olympic in Beijing in August and the Paralympics Games September.

The launching follows with the world’s positive comments on China’s impressive performance in hosting the Olympics, leaving aside the widening milk crisis tests that found the dangerous chemical melamine.

The Olympic, Paralympics and the successful launching happened coincidently when China commemorates its 30th anniversary since its opening up and economic reform in 1987.

In international relations, there is no world government, thus the international politics and system is anarchic. Countries inevitably look at protecting themselves in such an anarchic world order, and that is only through military means.

By nature, people are selfish, thus states too, who are the major players in international relations – and try to maximize their own benefits.

Realists believe that military spending must gain priority to modernize its military so that its land, sea and air boundary is protected.

That’s what USA did with Iraq. Washington invaded Iraq alleging that Sadam’s alleged nukes were of threat to America after September 11 attacks on the Twin Towers.

USA termed Iraq, Iran and North Korea as “axis of evil” believing all are aiding terrorists, threatening USA’s global hegemony.

Iran’s nuclear program was launched in the 1950’s with the help of the United States as part of the Atoms for Peace program. The support, encouragement and participation of the US and Western European governments in Iran’s nuclear program continued until the 1979 Islamic revolution that toppled the Shah of Iran.

Iran's first nuclear power plant, Bushehr I was expected to be operational in March 2008 and delivering its maximum capacity to the nation's power grid by March 2009.

However, USA is pressuring Iran to stop its alleged nuclear enrichment program, even going to the extent of imposing economic sanctions.

Another allegedly rogue state, North Korea demolished its Yongbyon nuclear complex, a gesture towards halting its nuclear program, paving way for a peaceful Korean Peninsular.

But recent reports out from Pyongyong shows that North Korea is rebuilding its nuclear plant after USA failed to keep its commitment towards that hungry stricken country with food ration and energy supply.

Even, George Bush is yet to remove the tag “axis of evil” off from North Korea.

What ever the logic, realists will argue that North Korea and Iran see USA’s modern military as a threat, after unsuccessfully attacking Iraq and they would be the next. Military strategists always draw this conclusion.

Is this arms race in the 21st century, the nuclear age where the emergence of WWIII would be a disaster in human history? World leaders are mindful of this.

Washington always sees itself as hegemony despite the fact that its hegemony statutes is slowly declining or eroding after the Cold War.
Liberals, on the other hand believe that institutionalism is the way forward for countries to solve any imminent problems. In this situation, norms and values in the established regimes such as international and regional organizations should be adhered with where interdependence and trade is encouraged.

What does China’s successful launching of Shenzhou – 7 means to world security and international politics? This is the question many academias and scholars will debate given the commonly talked theory that “china’s rise is a threat”.

On one extreme, optimists uphold the notion that China’s rise is “peaceful”.

Pessimists may worry that with its increasing space exploration and power, China will become a threat to other countries, just as Germany, Japan, and Russia did earlier this century.

To reduce this danger, pessimists argue that the rest of the world should stand firm against China and contain its expansionist’s tendencies.

Optimists, on the other hand, are hopeful that a stronger China would not be a more aggressive China. To encourage cooperative behavior on the part of the Chinese, it is important to engage China and integrate it into the international system.

Many of the later persuasion place their hope on “socializing” China into the norms of international cooperation. The concept of socialization has recently gained currency among Western international relations (IR) scholars and policy analysis.

They argue that “states are embedded in dense networks of transnational and international social relations that shape their perceptions of the world and their role in the world.

Thus, multilateralism is central to the optimists’ vision of socializing China. But multilateralism in Chinese perception is different as opposed to Western counterparts as Chinese International Relations (IR) scholars have not taken to abstract theories.

As one prominent Chinese researcher has pointed out, “In the Chinese context, a theory is not much different from a doctrine, an ideology, or a set of propositions serving as a guiding principle for action.”

IR Theory, in turn is “a guide for international action and foreign policy”. IR theory is closely connected with Chinese foreign policy.

From the founding of People’s Republic of China after WWII to late 1950s, the theory of “two camps” held sway. It was this ideological doctrine that lay under China’s alliance with the Soviet Union against the United States.

In 1960s, the theory of “opposing imperialism, revisionism, and reactionaries” became the guiding principle of Chinese foreign policy. Under it, China rejected Soviet revisionism as well as American imperialism.

In the early 1970s, Chairman Mao’s theory of the differentiation of “three worlds” emerged as the new conceptual framework about international relations.

It divided the world into three groups-the superpowers (first world), the developing countries (third world) and those in between (second world). China firmly placed itself in the third world.

China’s IR Theory since the early 1980’s has championed peace and development. The country’s foreign policy has shifted to one founded on strategic nonalignment and active participation in international economy.

Though China’s indigenous international relations theory perceived multilateral organizations as instruments of imperialism, China today stands as one of the active members in both international and regional organizations.

Though multilateral arrangements in Asia-Pacific is new as opposed to European Union, China’s participation has seen tremendous improvements in international and regional organizations.

In the Pacific, China also involves in many of the Forum Secretariat’s programs, either directly or indirectly.

As a member of the Security Council with veto power, China has contributed in world peace by participating in UN overseas missions, aid and relief programs.

In his recent UN high-level meeting on the Millennium development Goals (MDGs) in New York, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said that China will speed up efforts and provide more assistance to needy countries to facilitate the attainment of the MDGs.

China will contribute US$30 million to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization to establish a trust fund to help developing countries enhance agricultural productivity as reported by China View online.

China’s presence is felt in both international and regional politics for a peaceful coexistence by humanity.

If Mao Zedong’s principle of “three world” still exists today then China is a flagship of developing countries…a foot step the pacific island countries must consider.

Shenzhou – 7’s successful mission will only come to fruition upon its successful return. However, China represents the developing countries in UN Security Council, major influential regional and international forums, in science and technology, and now in space technology.

Whether its space technology or foreign policy, one thing remains vivid for Pacific Island countries and other developing countries which have been exploited by Westerners to learn, “China has an independent foreign policy and technological research mechanism which is hardly influenced by westerners”.

Shenzhou – 7 is an independent modern piece of space craft entirely built by China and sent to space for an independent research, not racing against US.

China’s foreign policy is also independent and domestically focused.

If there is any conclusion of Shenzhou – 7 and China’s possible impact of space technology then it is to enrich the wellbeing of humanity. Developing countries stand to benefit from this innovation.

China’s march towards space technology is not a threat, but part of China’s dream towards a peaceful world order, thus, China’s rise is “peaceful”.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Caption: John Bria, the supposed masters student at Jilin University in China and the writer in the writers room at Friendship Hotel, Changchun, Jilin Province, China. The picture was taken a night before John left for Port Moresby the next day, Wednesday 17th Sep, 2009, after three weeks in Changchun. The Foreign Affairs, Trade and Immigration Department recalled him. Picture by Michael from Ethopia.

Is PNG serious with China?

By Mathew Yakai in Changchun, China

GOVERNOR General Sir Paulias Matane’s recent independence message to the country was focused on an internationally competitive human resources development for Papua New Guinea.

Sir Paulias emphasized that education was not only about going to school and learning the basics but should also encourage honesty, proper attitudes, independent thinking and creative development for employment.

As former teacher, diplomat, and travelled all continents, Sir Matane’s message depicts authority.

Coincidently, the Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare and his deputy delivered in their respective independence speech that public service and its mechanisms are the main obstacles in PNG’s development.

In Wewak, the Prime Minister said since taking office, he had been very busy mending and putting together pieces that had been broken over a period of time.

Chief Sir Michael was the first prime minister since independence, who adopted and implemented the “pieces” he is referring to.

Chief’s Deputy Dr Temu gave an excuse that the Government was re-examining the institutions and systems of government as well as the laws “because these were the vehicles through which planned changes would come first”.

The system both the Prime Minister and his deputy concerned about is purely the result of what Sir Matane delivered, “lack of internationally competitive human resources for Papua New Guinea”.

The messages came at the time when 25 new PNG students left early September under the prestigious Chinese Government Scholarship for various degree programs in the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

They left to fulfill Sir Matane’s wish.

China is a country with 5000 years old history, which invented the first gun powder, wheel barrow and believed to be the “middle kingdom”, immediately under “god”.

From the founding of PRC in 1949, up till its opening and economic reform in 1987 till the recent successful 2008 Beijing Olympic and Paralympics Games, China is a country that should be embraced.

Apart from economic and diplomatic relations, for one to study and acquire knowledge in China, including the language and culture is a bonus when PNG preach about human resources development.

China experienced a tremendous economic growth within 30 years that PNG and the pacific region must seriously learn from.

The human resources development arrangement between China and PNG is also one of an historic arrangement since China opened itself to the outside world since 1987.

It also depicts the healthy bilateral relationship enjoyed today.

What is significant is that the Chinese tax payers are willing to bring not only PNG students but rest of the world to live, share and experience the 5000 years history, leave alone its rapid economic growth.

PNG students in China will experience real China and will serve PNG well, fulfilling what Sir Matane, Chief Somare and Dr. Temu are concerned about.

What we see in cities like Port Moresby, Honiara, Vanuatu, and others in the region where Chinese community run small trade stores behind well secured wire fence is not what you see in China, but the reflection of our lawlessness.

One needs to come to China to see and experience the real China, the good manner of the Chinese people and their genuiness towards foreigners.

John Bria was one of the 25 new students from PNG, and a senior immigration officer with the Foreign Affairs, Trade and Immigration (FATI) in Port Moresby.

The promising diplomat left his young family to take up master degree in Contemporary International Relations in Jilin University, one of the top ten universities in China.

John would focus on China’s foreign policy, a timely program for the very department he works with.

Foreign Affairs, Immigration and Trade department has been accused of passport scandal, particularly associating with the Chinese living and working in PNG.

Given the nature of the program, John would make a resourceful person with the department, dealing not only with Chinese but any foreigners who come to live with rest of Papua New Guineans.

After one year of living in China, I sympathize for PNG because we simply misunderstand the Chinese people due to lack of knowledge.

But for John, he had to cut short his study and return to PNG after three weeks of staying in China.

He neither attended one single class nor met his professor. He was looking forward to that joyous moment, just like any new international students overseas.

The PNG government which is concerned about the lack of human resources that is impacting the smooth delivery of government services threatened him.

Foreign Affairs, Economic and Trade department threatened that it will recall John diplomatically or he quit his scholarship and returned immediately.

John though about it seriously in the last two nights in my room, whether to ignore the departments threat and study or return and continue his job to take care of his young family.

It was a tough decision. “If the department is serious about human resource development and the future of PNG with China then they would allow me to stay. But if they do not care then why should I stay and sacrifice my job,” said John.

The department threatened to use diplomatic means, which would look bad on John’s side.

John said they threatened him because he and his other colleague Wellington Navasivu who also secured the Chinese Scholarship were not released by the department.

Wellington is still in China but as of this article, his fate is not known.

John and Wellington went on their own way to secure the scholarship. And when granted, they wrote to their immediate “boss” three weeks before their departure.

No reply was made, so they wrote to the department secretary, Gabriel Pepson. There was no reply.

They then wrote to the director of the training branch within the department but advised that their study was not through the department, and referred them to the head of immigration section.

The head advised them to see secretary Pepson as Mr. Pepson has the ultimate power.

No indication was forwarded within those three crucial weeks.

They worked till the last day, and eventually decided to leave for studies, seeing the benefit ahead for PNG.

The main reasons for threatening John and Wellington was that first, they were not released by the department, second, their study arrangement was outside of the department and third, the department is down with man power.

The genuine and sensible thinking PNG “boss”, who ever in the department would applaud their dream to study, especially in China.

The reason that scholarship arrangement was made out of the department is completely nonsense. How many scholarships are available to send PNG citizens overseas to acquire knowledge that will benefit the country?

Not many and even the cash stripped PNG government can not fund Foreign Affairs staff as John and Wellington for studies. Chinese government provided an opportunity.

They have gone their own way and the Chinese government saw their potential and benefit they would bring back to PNG.

Secretary Gabriel Pepson or the immigration divisional head should advise the training division to allow John and Wellington to go for studies while on pay.

This commentary is so concerned that the department does not consider the importance of human resource development in PNG.

Their study in China would benefit the country in the long run.

PNG’s foreign policy and diplomacy towards China is very crucial and important today.

Majority of PNG citizen do not know China very much, leave alone the foreign affairs, trade and immigration staff.

Few know China through media or text books which are written by foreigners who know little or nothing about China.

For John and wellington to come and study in China is very important, both for PNG and China’s future.

Few of us who are in China today are so impressed with china’s development and its genuine presence in PNG and the region.

This commentary has been advocating the importance of China in PNG and the region, but has its own limitation.

So having John and Wellington to come and study in China is an opportunity that PNG should embrace.

The department rules and regulations that stipulated their return is made by man, and given the situation, particularly the international politics and China’s global and regional influence should sufficiently convince Mr. Pepson and their immediate divisional “boss” to allow for their studies.

The action by the department draws a sad and unfortunate diplomatic relations between PNG and China, when China is genuine to provide an opportunity for PNG.

Sir Matane, Chief Michael and Dr. Temu preaching on the importance of human resources development is “just a lip service”.

PNG has sent many of its students to Australia, New Zealand, USA but the country has not paid great attention in sending its students to Asian countries when the government’s “look north policy” is still in place.

Japan, China, South Korea and Indonesia provide scholarships to PNG citizens.

These scholarships are very important given the “look north policy”, where advocacy can be brought back to the minds of the populace who accuse the policy regularly.

Even, the 21st century is the “pacific century” and PNG government should create more opportunities for students to take up studies in the region, excluding Australia and New Zealand.

Countries are watching China and the regions rapid growth closely. How serious is PNG towards China?

Bureaucratic “bottle neck” should not hinder PNG students from pursuing studies overseas.

Does regionalism and provincialism decides who goes for studies or gets promoted? No wonder, after 33 years of independence and PNG is still “busy mending and putting together pieces that had been broken over a period of time” as Sir Michael admitted.

Classes in China have not started yet. Thus, this commentary strongly begs the foreign affairs, trade and immigration department to allow John and Wellington to take up studies.

This will benefit the country in the long run when it comes to foreign policy formulation and implementation towards China.

Ambassador to China John Momis applauds the importance of PNG-China bilateral relationship during his 33rd Independence Anniversary speech in Beijing.

“PNG’s trade and economic relations with the China have been reaching new heights. PNG’s strong desire to diversity its sources of trade and investment and China’s policy of further reforms and open up provide good opportunities to improve trade and investment between the two countries.”

“We had a very successful trade and investments symposium in Port Moresby last July. Now more and more Chinese Entrepreneurs are planning and considering investing in PNG,” said Momis.

How can PNG deal with China if PNG lacks human resources who should know Chinese economy, governance and Chinese language very well?

Because at the end of the day, “bargaining” comes in, and one must know Chinese mind not through newspapers and text books but studying in China.

If Ambassador Momis’s dream comes true and PNG allows multinational Chinese companies to invest then PNG’s foreign, economic and social policies will be severely affected.

That is where Sir Matane’s concern comes in, “PNG needs internationally competitive human resources,” to survive in today’s globally competitive world.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Caption: Ambassador Momis, Ambassadors' wife Elizabeth Momis, PNG representatives in the Paralympics Game in Beijing and PNG Embassy staff during the 33rd PNG Independence Anniversary celebration in Beijing, China. Picture by Albert Tobby in Beijing

Caption: Papua New Guinea's Ambassador His Excellency Ambassador John Momis presenting RMB 3000 (K1,117) on behalf of PNG Embassy in Beijing to Papua New Guinea's only silver medalist Francis in Beijing during the 33rd Independence Celebration, while wife Elizabeth Momis looks on. Picture courtesy by Albert Tobby

PNG welcomes China’s investments.

By Mathew Yakai in Changchun, China

THE government of Papua New Guinea is welcoming potential Chinese companies to invest in the country, especially in downstream processing and manufacturing.

Speaking at the 33rd PNG’s Independence Anniversary in Beijing, his Excellency Ambassador John Momis said PNG’s trade and economic relations with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) have been reaching new heights and PNG government desire to diversify its sources of trade and investment.

Ambassador Momis admitted that China’s policy of further reforms and opening up to outside world provides good opportunities to improve trade and investment between the two countries and PNG can benefit from PRC’s policy.

“The negotiation of preferential loan of RMB 8 hundred million has been progressing well,” Ambassador Momis said.

Ambassador Momis said following the July Trade and Investment Symposium in Port Moresby, more Chinese entrepreneurs are planning and considering investment in PNG.

“They would like to follow the fine example set by Ramu Nickel Mine of MCC, which has already provided funds, expertise and management,” Ambassador Momis said.

He also applauded the successful Investment, Trade and Tourism Ministerial Conference of China-Pacific Countries Economic Development Cooperation Forum staged last week in Xiamen City, Fujian Province

“At the Forum it was stated that the Chinese Government actively supports competent Chinese Enterprises to go Global. We warmly welcome competent Chinese Enterprises to go Global.”

“We warmly welcome competent Chinese Enterprises to come to make direct investments in PNG.”

“Frankly speaking there are some challenges in investment in PNG. However the potential is great and huge especially in downstream processing and manufacturing. We will give our support to any Chinese competent enterprises that would like to invest in my country,” Ambassador Momis said.

The Ambassador also acknowledged the booming mining developments and huge LNG Gas project which is the biggest in PNG’s history.

“It is absolutely correct for the Government to develop these big projects. However at the same, we should also pay special attention to the development of our rural economy which comprises agricultural, fishery and forestry sectors.”

“Our Rural Economy is too important for us to ignore because it not only supports the livelihood of the 87% of PNG’s population but also guaranteed the sustainable development of PNG economy,” he said.

Ambassador Momis also thanked the people of China and the Chinese government for providing invaluable help in various areas like education, when acknowledging the arrival of 25 new PNG students under the Chinese Government Scholarship.

He also congratulated the Chinese government for successfully hosting the Olympic Game and the on going Paralympics Game, making disable individuals to realize themselves as equal persons.

“…apart from celebrating our independence day we have a very special reason to share our joy and pride in Francis Kompaun’s winning and His colleague Joelyn for courageous participation representing PNG in this world even.”

“It is my firm belief there is great potential in physical culture in PNG and other Pacific countries. I am hopeful that the Chinese Government would help us, Island Countries in the Pacific build a sports institute in PNG to train sports men and women from our region,” the ambassador said.

Momis presented "cash" money of K1,117. (RMB 3000) to Francis with a bouquet of flower and Joelyn and two officials with K744.77 (RMB 2000) each to express his appreciation and gratitude for their participation at the Paralympics Games.

Special Guest Present during the independence celebration were Zheng Zeguan – Deputy Director of America – Oceania, Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, representatives of Pacific Islands Embassy’s in Beijing, Bernard Chan – President of the PNG National Paralympics Committee, PNG Students in Beijing, Senior PNG Government Departments and Media Officers and Chinese friends.

Women from Tambul, Western Highlands Province ready for the traditional dance (Welda). Picture was taken by Sharon on 16th September 2008 during PNG's 33rd independence anniversary in Pogera, Enga Province

Steven from Tambul, Western Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea in his traditional warrying gear for the celebration of PNG's 33rd independence anniversary on 16th Sep, 2008. Picture by Sharon

Men from Tambul in the Western Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea in their traditional attire for the traditional march (gluiya) during the 33rd independence anniversary of Papua New Guinea 16th September, 2008. Picture by Sharon

From Porgera Enga province in Papua New Guinea during the 33rd independence anniversary celebration on 16th September, 2008. Picture by Sharon

From Laiagam in Enga Province during the 33rd PNG independence anniversary on 16th September, 2008. Picture by Sharon

Kandep women in traditional dance in Papua New Guinea on 16th September 2008 commemorating Papua New Guinea's 33rd independence anniversary. Picture by Sharon
Kandep men from Enga in Papua New Guinea in their traditional singsing/dance during the independence celebration, commemorating the 33rd Papua New Guinea independence anniversary on 16th September, 2008. Picture by Sharon

Girls from Kandep in Enga Province, Papua New Guinea. Picture taken by Sharon during the 33rd PNG Independence Anniversary celebration

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Caption: Future potential diplomats during their intensive foreign service training at Government House June this year. Foreign Service training is a prerequisite for future posting to PNG overseas missions. The future of PNG’s foreign policy formulation and implementation lies in their hands. Picture courtesy by John Bria

PNG’s diplomacy after 33 years and what lies ahead

By Mathew Yakai in Changchun, China

SINCE independence, Papua New Guinea stood up as a nation, going through some economic, political and social tribulations.

On Tuesday 16th September, PNG will celebrate its 33rd Independence Anniversary.

When PNG gained her statehood on 16th September 1975, she was a new born into the international community, and that was during the Cold War period, an aggressive ideological war between the capitalist USA and Communist former USSR.

When thinking of how PNG survived this Cold War period, as opposed to “hot wars”, PNG admires its bureaucrats and career diplomats who sat down and drew PNG’s foreign policies that faced the challenges of yesteryears and future.

Realism, one of International Relations theories which depict “power politics” that associates with militarism, as opposed to institutionalism or idealism which believes in norms and values was dominant at that time.

Because PNG was a new born, her foreign policy experts were genuine to draw foreign policy, “friends to all and enemy to none”. Today, this policy remains.

In International Relations, states are the main actors. So PNG as a sovereign state, is the main actor, thus has an important role not only towards its people but the region and the world.

As such, formulations of PNG’s foreign policies are very important, taking into account the current international trend.

But when such policies are drafted, domestic polity also have some influence.

Also, policies are drafted by experts, who are indeed human beings, strongly influenced by their past experiences and the current surroundings.

So at the end, what kind of foreign policies does PNG have? Is it strongly influenced by international events, or influenced by domestic policies or even by the experts’ past experiences? I will leave these questions to people who draft and review PNG’s foreign policies.

One area the experts can learn from China’s experience is that Beijing gives priority to its domestic polity when drawing its foreign policies. The reason is that China was once humiliated by the Westerners so they are careful with outside influence.

On that note, does Canberra, London, New Zealand and other traditional partners influence PNG’s foreign policies? To some extent yes and it’s inevitable given the globalization trend, but Waigani must minimize outside influences.

PNG’s foreign policies experts must draw fine line, weighing out issues to make sure the sovereignty of PNG is not compromised, and at the same time maintain a cordial bilateral relationship with the traditional partners and as much, extend its relationship, depending very much on the availability of capitals.

Power of a nation state is depicted in its military might, economy and natural resources.

PNG has only the natural resources, but not the other two. USA has all three, and that’s why she can unilaterally attack Iraq and Afghanistan, leave aside its WWII and Cold War victory.

But the theory that military power, economic power and abundant natural resources are the foundation for a powerful country is proven wrong.

Good example is the U.S.’s defeat in Vietnam War and the current war in Iraq. If U.S. is powerful then why not complete its mission in Iraq sooner and leave?

U.S. is now watching North Korea and Iran which she termed as “axis of evil”. But the experience in Iraq has taught Washington a new lesson, “institutionalism” and “cooperation” is the way forward, rather then ‘unilateral” approach.

U.S. is no doubt world’s hegemony because it has the world’s modern military with world’s largest national economy.

Its gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated as $13.8 trillion in 2007 and maintains a high level of output per person, $46,000 in 2007, according to Wikipedia.

U.S. Armed Forces are the overall unified military forces of the U.S. and was formed during the Continental Congress and was permanently established after WWII.

As of June 30, 2008, about 1,427,546 people are on active duty in the military with an additional 1,458,400 people in the seven reserve components.

Much of U.S. military capability is involved in logistics and transportation, which enable rapid buildup of forces as needed.

The Air Force maintains a large fleet of C-5 Galaxy, C-17 Globemaster, and C-130 Hercules transportation aircraft with a substantial fleet of aerial refueling tankers.

The Marine Corps maintains Marine Expeditionary Units at sea with the Navy's Atlantic and Pacific Fleets.

The Navy's 11 active aircraft carriers, combined with a military doctrine of power projection, enable a flexible response to potential threats.

U.S is abundant with natural resources such as coal, copper, lead, molybdenum, phosphates, uranium, bauxite, gold, iron, mercury, nickel, potash, silver, tungsten, zinc, petroleum, natural gas and timber.

U.S also has multinational companies overseas which extract natural resources overseas for local consumption.

Compared that to China (PRC), The People's Liberation Army (PLA) is the unified military organization of all land, sea, and air forces.

PLA is one of the world's largest military forces, with approximately 7,000,000 members and has the world's largest (active) standing army, with approximately 2.25 million members.

U.S. is next with 1,426,026 active service personal followed by India, Russia and North Korea. PNG has only 3,100 active service personal according to Wikipedia.

In terms of economy, PRC has the second largest economy in the world with a GDP of over $6.9 trillion (2007) when measured on a purchasing (PPP) basis.

In November 2007, it became the third largest in the world after the U.S. and Japan with a nominal GDP of US$3.42 trillion (2007) when measured in exchange-rate terms.

Since free market reforms in 1978 China's GDP has grown an average 9.9 percent a year.

China's per capita income has grown at an average annual rate of more than 8% over the last three decades, drastically reducing poverty, but this rapid growth has been accompanied by rising income inequalities.

The country's per capita income is classified as low by world standards, at about $2,000, and $7,800 in 2006, according to the International Monetary Fund.

China has a large and varied stock of natural resources. The variety of different landforms, soil conditions, and climate patterns offers many different kinds of opportunities for agricultural production.

A tremendous range of food and industrial crops can be grown, and this makes it possible for China to keep imports to a minimum.

In PNG, its Defence Force (PNGDF) is the unified armed forces, originate as an Australian colony before independence in 1975, the Royal Pacific Islands Regiment.

The then Pacific Islands Regiment, disbanded after World War II, was reformed again in 1951. At first, it consisted mostly of 1 PIR at Taurama Barracks Port Moresby.

In 1965, however, a second battalion, 2 PIR, was formed at Wewak. PNGDF land forces also include the Engineer Battalion in Igam Barracks at Lae, and as of 2000, a signal squadron, an explosive ordnance disposal unit, and a preventive medicine platoon.

PNG is richly endowed with natural resources, but exploitation has been hampered by rugged terrain, the high cost of developing infrastructure, serious law and order problems and the system of land title, which makes identifying the owners of land for the purpose of negotiating appropriate agreements problematic.

Agriculture provides a subsistence livelihood for 85% of the population.
Mineral deposits, including oil, copper, and gold, account for 72% of export earnings.
PNG’s GDP remains at $11.94 billion (2007 est.). It has abundant natural resources that have the potential to heal its economy if corruption is eradicated.

It may be bizarre to compare PNG to USA, world’s hegemony and the rising regional power China.

But the logic is this. China can have the largest military and the second largest economy immediately after USA but all of these are powered by natural resources.

USA’s main attack on Iraq is for oil, one of the important natural resources that is reaping ordinary PNG family when the fuel price is skyrocketing.

This had ripple effects on other commodities instigating high prices, consequently, pulling Unitech students out of their class to demand the government to intervene.

So what does PNG have that makes the country having a leverage over countries like U.S., Australia, China, New Zealand, United Kingdom and other trading partners? It’s the natural resources in abundance.

So our foreign policy experts at the International Relations Divisions, especially foreign policy review team at the Foreign Affairs department need to take into consideration that PNG has abundant natural resources to bargain for a better diplomatic and economic benefit.

The world of “realism” has gone, and today major players in world politics put emphasis on “institutionalism”, and economic cooperation, by promoting interdependence. PNG has great advantages now.

Recently, the bilateral and economic relationship between China and PNG has been further strengthened with the extension of the loan repayment of about K30 million by another 10 years.

And China has also committed another grant of about K4 million to PNG.

Thirty-three years after independence, PNG is now at the cross-road of international interdependence and prudent diplomacy.

PNG has done extremely well with embassies (Kundus) in Jakarta, Manila, Belgium, Beijing, Tokyo, Seoul, Washington D.C., New York, high commissions in Honiara, Suva, Canberra, Kuala Lumpar, London, New Delhi, Wellington, consulates in Jayapura and Brisbane and honorary consulates in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore and Bangkok.

In diplomacy, Kundus have done well in the past 33 years. Today, our foreign policies must be based on international trend, with domestic interest always taking precedence.

PNG is not a failed state, or a weak state. Her foreign policies spoke well in the past 33 years. However, PNG now faces a big challenge given the globalization era.

But if PNG can go through the Cold War period then scenario today is simply about mutual understanding, cooperation and interdependence through established regimes as most economies are complementary.

The world today does not need hegemony, given U.S.’s slow decline, but cooperation and interdependence amongst states, only through established regimes.

PNG stands to benefit. Happy 33rd Anniversary, my beloved PNG.

Note: Asia-Pacific Perspective: China + looks at Chinese society, culture, economy, governance and China's role within the Asia Pacific region and the world over. It mainly focuses on how PNG can learn from China's experience. The writer is a PNG student in China.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Birds of Paradise are members of the family Paradisaeidae of the order Passeriformes. They are found in eastern Indonesia, Torres Strait Islands, Papua New Guinea, and eastern Australia. The members of this family are perhaps best known for the plumage of the males of most species, in particular highly elongated and elaborate feathers extending from the beak, wings or head. Birds of paradise range in size from the King Bird of Paradise at 50 grams (1.8 oz) and 15 cm (6 in) to the Black Sicklebill at 110 cm (43 in) and the Curl-crested Manucode at 430 grams (15.2 oz). Picture Courtesy by Luke Pawa Paip, Divine Word University, Madang
Georgina Bria (center) with two friends in Papua New Guinea's gold color during her 5th birth day celebration (4th July, 2008) at 5-Mile, Gordon Ridge, outside Port Moresby. Given PNG's 33rd Independence Anniversary on 16th September 2008, the gold color resembles the essence of being the proud Papua New Guineans. These three beautiful girls depict the true color of their country in their "bilum" dress. But what the future holds for them is something they will discover when they grow up tomorrow. Picture courtesy by John Bria.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Caption: New PNG students in Beijing on their way to Ambassador Momis’s residence for the welcoming dinner. Picture by Albert Tobby, Beijing

Ambassador: Bridge Gap Between PNG and China

By Mathew Yakai in Changchun, China

AMBASSADOR to China, John Momis has appealed to Papua New Guinea students studying in China to bridge the cultural and developmental gap between the two countries.

Speaking to 25 new PNG students on Chinese Government Scholarship on Tuesday 2nd Sep, 2008, Ambassador Momis emphasized that PNG students are in a better position to understand China well and this can help them promote the relationship between the two countries.

Momis challenged the students to learn Chinese language that will also help them fully understand the Chinese culture and people.

Speaking at the welcoming dinner at his residence in Beijing, Ambassador Momis encouraged the students to study hard, emphasizing that though education is a right, to be offered a full scholarship by the Chinese government is very rare.

He told the students to consider themselves as privileged and must have responsibility to their family, province, country and the promotion between the two countries.

Students were dispersed all over China to pursue various degrees. China currently has more then 40 students from PNG.

Present at the dinner were national Chinese staff of the PNG Embassy, former PNG Students studying in Beijing including Angelo Wak, Danniel Pepson, Billy Tomon, Albert Tobby and Hildagad Rai and the Acting First Secretary Ms. Liza Gabina.

Ambassadors’ family was also present.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Papua New Guinea fraud suspect kept in detention
By Jimmy Chuang

Wu Shih-tsai, a key suspect in the Papua New Guinea diplomatic fraud scandal, is being kept in custody because prosecutors fear he could attempt to escape during the ongoing investigation into the case, the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office said yesterday.
Wu and his partner Ching Chi-ju, who were commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in 2006 to help broker a deal for the establishment of diplomatic ties with Papua New Guinea, allegedly embezzled the US$29.8 million intended as aid for the Pacific country.
While Ching remains on the run, Wu, taken into custody by prosecutors in May, was indicted on Friday on charges of forgery and defamation.
"This case concerned a lot of money, which was wired to foreign bank accounts. We have not finished our investigation or determined where the money is,” Chief Prosecutor Huang Mo-hsin said.
Prosecutors said they were investigating whether any government officials, including former vice premier Chiou I-jen and former minister of foreign affairs James Huang, were involved in the case.
On May 6, Huang filed a detention request against Wu on charges of corruption, which was granted by the district court.
Wu should have been released last Friday, when the detention period expired, but prosecutors requested an extension on other charges.
“The forgery, and Wu’s lying to the police, made for a solid case for us to keep him,” Huang said. Wu at one point defended his actions to police by saying he had been threatened at gunpoint.

Diplomatic fraud suspect indicted, stays behind bars.

By Mathew Yakai in Changchun, China

THE key suspect in the Papua New Guinea diplomatic fraud scandal in Taipei was indicted on Friday.

Taipei Times reports the Taipei Chief Prosecutor Huang Mo-hsin indicted Wu Shih-tsai, on charges of falsifying bank statements and lying to the police after he made up a story about being threatened by an unidentified gunman.

“Prosecutors decided that the evidence was sufficient to find him guilty, so we decided to indict him today,” said Lin Chin-chun, spokesman for the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office, during a press conference on Friday. Wu has been in custody since May 6.
According to Taipei Times, the procedure states that once indicted, the defendant must be immediately released, but Wu remained in detention after a request for an extension was granted by Taipei District Court Judge Chang Yung-hung after evidence found that he was trying to leave the country.
Wu and Ching Chi-ju, the other main suspect in the diplomatic scandal, were commissioned in August 2006 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and former National Security Council secretary-general Chiou I-jen to act as intermediaries in an attempt to forge diplomatic relations with Papua New Guinea.

Timothy Bonga, the MP for Nawaeb and lawyer Dr Florian Guban were alleged to have negotiated with Taipei for diplomatic exchange over a US$29.8 million. Bonga was Eda Ranu boss at that time.

The allegation has been categorically denied and the National Government is currently tightlipped on the issue.

Taipei Times reports the Taiwanese Foreign Affairs Ministry agreed to wire US$29.8 million into Wu and Ching’s bank account at a branch of OCBC Bank in Singapore.
The funds were to be transferred to the Papua New Guinea government once the two nations had signed a diplomatic communiqué.

Sir Michael Somare was the prime minister at the time of the alleged scandalTaiwan failed to develop relations and in December 2006 the ministry asked for its money back.
Ching allegedly refused to return the funds and has since disappeared, reports Taipei Times.
Chiou, former minister of foreign affairs James Huang and former deputy minister of national defense Ko Cheng-heng all resigned over their involvement in the diplomatic scheme.
Ching, who is a US citizen, is believed to be at large in the US.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Caption: The writer with student colleague Bruce Lee having fun over the “ping pong” table at Jilin University, China. Socialization like this is common amongst international and Chinese students, one of the effective ways to know China well.

Caption: Chinese premier Wen Jiabao holds a torch after lighting the Beijing Paralympic flame during the Paralympic flame lighting ceremony at the ancient Temple of Heaven in Beijing, Aug. 28, 2008. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)

“Ping Pong Diplomacy”: The Power of Sports

By Mathew Yakai in Changchun, China

THE GOVERNMENT of Papua New Guinea has no recognition for sports in the country or to an extent, nothing at all, revealing a sorry state for the upcoming sporting youths.

This sets one of the bad legacies in PNG’s sporting history.

Recent move by the government directing the Papua New Guinea Sports Foundation (PNGSF) to “immediately vacate” Sir John Guise Stadium Indoor Sports Complex to make way for the ACP-EU joint parliamentary session depicts the governments’ position on sports.

PNGSF is the Governments’ agencies that coordinates and delivers sports programs, but the instruction will severely affect the scheduled sports programs.

The set back will be inevitably disastrous as indicated by the acting executive director John Kambuou.

While recognizing the importance of the upcoming ACP-EU joint parliamentary session, what compels this commentary is that the government does not have in place avenues for specific events given their equal importance.

Sports are one of the most important areas that any governments in the world invest tremendous resources to see their athletes strive to the best of their capabilities on world stages.

Sadly, the move by prime minister and NEC’s office comes after Team PNG lead by the “big fish’ Ryan Pini competed against the top world athletes like America’s Michael Phelps in Beijing Olympic recently.

Pini splashed the pool at “water cube” that sent forth ripples of hope for the “Island Paradise” when the world watched and knew that Pini is an “island boy”.

Not only that. The direction from NEC came about 12 days (August 26th, 2008) before the commencement of the 13th Paralympic Games in Beijing, which started yesterday (Sep 6th, 2008) and will end Sep 17.

What is behind this scenario is that PNG Government does not promote a healthy population for the development of her economy.

Now, how can PNGSF coordinate sending PNG representatives to the current Paralympic Games in Beijing if any?

This further shows that PNG Government does not recognize the presence of our disable population, who are living amongst PNG citizens to participate in sports and other activities equally.

There are disabled individuals in PNG and rest of Oceania who contribute enormously in professions that have profound impact on regional economies. List of names can be enumerated if their privacy is not of concern.

Those who could not make for further studies can excel in other areas like sports if the government provides facilities like having a permanent building for PNGSF, rather then recycling the Stadium for political, economics and social purposes.

The Chinese government constructed the stadium originally for sporting purposes.

A healthy population is the foundation for healthy economy, and that can only come through sports if efforts and resources are put in.

Evidences show that some effective groups of people who represent their motherland overseas are diplomats, students and athletes.

But athletes commit their time, resources, and efforts by going through painful trainings to represent their country. We need not look further then Ryan Pini, Dika Tou and others.

When Pini won gold for the first time in Sydney 2000, the ripple of sports hopeful pierced throughout the Pacific Ocean, let alone PNG homeland applauding Pini who became an overnight household name.

Pini made his country’s mark on the world map, and this is the power of “sports diplomacy”.

Sports have also played important roles during and after the Cold War periods.

The popular ‘ping pong diplomacy’ is a legacy that revealed the power of sports that can bring lasting peace and normalcy between rising and established world powers.

Perhaps it had never occurred to anyone - and indeed nor to anyone even three decades ago - that the game would play such a vital role in the Olympic Movement and be used someday as a powerful weapon in diplomacy leading to the re-opening of Sino-U.S. relations in the early '70s.

After the U.S.-backed Kuomintang government was overthrown in 1949, the United States adopted a policy of blockade towards the newly-born People's Republic of China.

In the late '60s, in face of increasing Soviet menaces, the Nixon Administration wanted to change its global strategy by improving its relations with China.

As Nixon had written in the October 1967 issue of Foreign Affairs, "Taking the long view we simply cannot afford to leave China forever outside the family of nations."

Immediately after his nomination for President, he reiterated in an interview to Time Magazine that "We must not forget China. We must always seek opportunities to talk with her." "If there is anything I want to do before I die, it is to go to China."

On the other hand, as Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai had declared as early as 1955 at the Bandung Conference, "The Chinese people are friendly towards the American people. The Chinese people want no war with the United States. The Chinese government is willing to sit down for talks on problems concerning the relaxation of tensions in the Far East, particularly in the Taiwan area."

Towards the end of 1969, the talks in Warsaw between China and the United States at the ministerial level which had gone on for 14 years without achieving any result were resumed.

It happened that the 31st World Table Tennis Championships was going to be held in Nagoya, Japan, from March 28 through April 7, 1971. Concerning China's participation in this tournament, a special meeting was held at the State Council on March 11.

It was attended by officials from the Foreign Ministry and the State Commission for Physical Culture and Sports, with Premier Zhou Enlai presiding.

"Our table tennis team represents our country and our people, " Zhou said.
"It will come into contact with many teams from other countries including the United States. If the American team is a progressive one, we may invite it to China for competition. Hasn't our team been to West Germany? Can't it even go to the United States? We haven't restored relations with Japan, but our sports delegation can go there."

While in Nagoya, Song Zhong of the Chinese delegation met with Steenhoven, manager of the U.S. delegation, who told him that on the eve of its departure the U.S. State Department, had decided to lift all restrictions on travels to China for holders of American passports.

Song said that this meant they might be able to meet someday in Beijing. Steenhoven said that American players had much to learn from Chinese players if they had the chance to visit China.

The conversation was immediately reported back to China, where a daily bulletin was published about the news from Nagoya, with copies sent to Zhou and Mao and to the Foreign Ministry.

Upon hearing the news about the conversation, Mao ordered that five telephone calls instead of three be made to Nagoya every day.

On April 1, across the Pacific, Henry Kissinger read a memorandum from the State Department in which Zhou was reported to have told former Japanese foreign minister Fujiyama Aiichiro that there might be a sudden turn for the better sometime in the relations between China and the United States.

In Beijing, after a careful study of the reports from Nagoya, the Foreign Ministry held that in inviting Americans to China, first consideration should be given to influential journalists and politicians.

Mao was well informed of what had happened in Nagoya. He decided to invite the American players immediately.

On April 7, the Chinese delegation received a directive from home: "considering that the American team has made the request many times with friendly enthusiasm, it has been approved to invite it, including its leaders, to visit our country."

Upon receiving the invitation, Steenhoven immediately reported to the American ambassador to Japan.

After reading the cable from Tokyo, Nixon decided at once that the American team should go to China, taking the invitation for the beginning of a long-awaited major diplomatic action.

On April 14, Zhou received the guest teams from the United States, Canada, Colombia and Nigeria at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

When talking with the American players, he said, "The Chinese and American people used to have frequent exchanges. Then came a long period of severance. Your visit has opened the door to friendship between the peoples of the two countries."

A few hours after the reception, Nixon announced a relaxation of embargo against China.

In the latter part of April, China sent a letter to the United States, saying that China would be willing to receive a special envoy like the American Secretary of State, or the President himself.

In July Kissinger and Zhou had talks in Beijing from the 9th to the 11th and the two countries publicized a communiqué simultaneously on the 15th.

From February 21 through 28, 1972, Nixon visited China and met with Mao on the day of his arrival in Beijing. A communiqué signed in Shanghai was publicized by the two countries on the 27th.

The "ping pong diplomacy" led to the restoration of Sino-U.S. relations which had been cut for more than two decades.

This triggered off a series of other events, including the restoration of China's legitimate rights in the United Nations by an overwhelming majority vote in October, and the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and other countries, like PNG in 1976.

Many countries today are benefiting from the powerful effect created by the “little ping pong ball”.

This little “ball” had the ripple effect that eventually led China to engage in many regional and international organizations genuinely.

Thus, China opened up 30 years ago, and now experiences one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

Olympic Games in Beijing last month is not the concluding chapter of the little “ping pong ball” effects, but an opening of a new chapter in Chinas’ “peaceful rise”. This is “sports diplomacy”.

PNG and Oceania must learn from history and give sports a chance.

Note: “Asia-Pacific Perspective: China +” looks at Chinese society, culture, economy, governance and China’s role within the region and the world over. It mainly focuses on how Oceania can learn from China’s experience. The writer is a PNG student in China.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Good Bye Stefano

Stefano (far right in white) with International Relations masters students from developing countries posing for the group photo at Friendship Hotel in Jilin University before he left for his home country Italy on Sep 2, 2008. I am putting a tumps up far right.

The last group photo taken with Stefano on Sep 2, 2008 (tallest amongst the group) at the Friendship Hotel in Jilin Province, Changchun city, China (PRC). Stefano from Italy came to Jilin university for six months as research computer students. He was living just opposite my hotel room and most of the time we bump into each other. Every afternoon we meet at the mini soccer field for a soccer match. While at Jilin, Stefano met students from all over the world brought together to study under the Chinese Government Scholarship in various fields. He also met and befriended with lots of Chinese students. Sure, Stefano will miss China, particularly Changchun and his new found friends but he is happy to be back in Italy with his family, friends and get back to Italy food which he missed so much. He promised to return to Changchun one day, given the fact that he treasure this beautiful city. From his friends here at Friend Hotel, we wish Stefano a successful completion in his studies and a healthy life and future. (By Mathew Yakai with hand on pocket, first right)
Email from Stefano to me when he arrived home safely.
Date: Wed, 3 Sep 2008 20:14:56
Re: nihao

I arrived at home yesterday night after a long here it is 2:15 pm... it is rainingI am fine...
I miss the football matches in the Friendship Hotel...Hope to come back to Changchun soon...Good luck !!!Stefano

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Note: As PNG will celebrate its 33 years of Independence on 16th September 2008, I paste the country's National Pledge to remember the Motherland.

PNG and China since 1976 established their bilateral relationship. Since then, the two countries have developed and strengthened their bilateral relationship to this point.

We, the people of Papua New Guinea, pledge ourselves united in one nation.

We pay homage to our cultural heritage, the source of our strength.

We pledge to build a democratic society, based on justice, equality, respect and prosperity for our people.

We pledge to stand together as One People, One Nation, One Country God bless Papua New Guinea

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Caption: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao shakes hands with Vanuatu Prime Minister Lini at the opening of the First Ministerial Conference of the China-Pacific Island Countries Economic Development and Cooperation Forum in Nadi, Fiji, April 5, 2006. The relationship between the island country and China is "sincere and friendly.Vanuatu recognises the 'One China Policy" and opposes Taiwanese move to become the member of U.N.” [Xinhua Photo]

Vanuatu election update.

Below is an email from Daily Post newspaper journalist in Vanuatu, an update on Vanuatu elections currently going on. I recently secured a column with Daily Post and they publish my articles under "Asia-Pacific Perspective: China +" looking at what Vanuatu can learn from China on issues related to economics, politics and social. Articles are published every Saturday weekdays.

Quite a number of upsets. Barak sope likely to lose seat including heavy-weights Willie Jimmy, Sela Molisa, and Keasipai Song. At least 17 veterans could lose their seats. And Vanua'aku Pati, the oldest party that led Vanuatu to independence, some strong showing which wasn't expected. And for first time in history an independent candidate in Port Vila has surpassed all expectations with a massive 2000 votes, record in Vanuatu politics history. Hope you are familiar with some of these big names.

Once again,
thanks and cheers

Monday, September 01, 2008

Caption: From right - Dorah (Brazil), Jirka (Czech Republic), Darasa (Ethiopia) and me (PNG) at Jilin University in China (PRC). One of our memorable time that will go down in our individual histories. Some universities around the world enrol students from all over the world and that provides their students with opportunities to live, study and interact together freely. That opens up the door for international students to know other countries and people's cultures very well and enables students to be true global citizens.

Vanuatu Daily Post Publishes My Articles

The Daily Post English newspaper in Port Vila, Vanuatu, is currently publishing my weekly column every Saturdays. My column, "Asia Pacific Perspective: China +" attempts to reach all the island countries so they can learn from China. This is a personal initiative with no funding and support by any organisation or individuals. I am currently writing for three newspapers, with my column, "Asia Pacific Perspective: China +" for Sunday Chronicle newspaper in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea published every Sunday, Island Sun newspaper in Honiara, Solomon Islands and Daily Post newspaper in Port Vila in Vanuatu every Saturday. I am striving to reach out to other island countries sooner.

Mathew Yakai