- Annual General Meeting of The Australian Association for the Advancement of Pacific Studies (AAAPS), 10 May 2013
- Dr. Hsiao-chun Hung returns to the Mariana Islands
- Vote buying prevalent in Indonesia and the Pacific
- The end of the Pacific? Sea-level change and Pacific Island livelihoods
- Politics, development and security in Oceania
- Kago, Kastom and Kalja: The Study of Indigenous Movements in Melanesia Today (Cahiers du Credo) (Volume 2)
- In conversation with Sir Mekere Morauta
- Engendering objects: Dynamics of Barkcloth and Gender among the Maisin of Papua New Guinea by
- Another Port Moresby community bulldozed
- Reflections on the PNG Budget Forum: Can devolved funding be effectively utilised
- European Investment Bank backs remote aviation investment in the South Pacific
- Lifting skills in the Pacific: using infrastructure procurement for skills transfer
- Fiji constitutional referendum? Unlikely
- CDI Policy Paper: Comparing Across Regions: Parties and Political Systems in Indonesia and the Pacific Islands
- SSGM’s ‘State of the Pacific’ Conference (25-26 June 2013)
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Tag Archives: China
For the last two years a quiet educational revolution with profound implications for education outreach and collaborative teaching and research has been taking place across the entire breadth of the Pacific Islands. The project driving this new approach is called Connecting Moana: the common heritage of Pacific Islanders. It brings together major tertiary institutions across the Pacific Islands in a collaborative course writing and professional development exercise to design and deliver courses for Pacific Islanders on their history, culture, environmental management and external relations. The courses will be presented in a variety of media. The project has received overwhelming support from all tertiary institutions, with numerous academics volunteering to participate. Designed in the Pacific Islands for Pacific Islanders, this collaborative endeavour provides tangible benefits of enhanced course delivery and university outreach, reduced workloads through sharing resources, and enhanced research capacity through linking teaching and research collaboration. The author has been part of the organizing committee since the project’s inception.
Coordinated by Dr Morgan Tuimaleali’ifano and Dr Max Quanchi of the Suva campus of the University of the South Pacific, the project has won support from the University of Guam, the College of Micronesia’s Pohnpei campus, Divine Word University in Madang, Papua New Guinea, the University of Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby, the University of New Caledonia, the National University of Samoa, and the University of French Polynesia. Recently, Taiwanese universities with large indigenous student bodies were also recruited to embrace the homeland of the Austronesian diaspora. In so doing, the project bridges the gap between the Anglophone and Francophone Pacific and reintegrates Taiwan as the ancient homeland of Pacific Islanders. This reconfiguration has done much to break down externally imposed language barriers and reshape conceptions of the region according to indigenous priorities and shared experiences.
Preparations are well advanced to trial the first course on the history of the Pacific before European arrival. This will be a Pacific wide, multi-campus undergraduate history course about Pacific societies, emphasizing and empowering Pacific perspectives and grounding students in their shared heritage – a heritage which transcends contemporary language and cultural barriers arising from colonial rule. Due to limited staff numbers and access to resources, few university undergraduate courses currently teach the early history of the Pacific Islands, or the histories of the whole region. This project will provide a collective and truly Pan-Pacific introduction to the history of the inhabitants of Moana (the increasingly recognized indigenous term for the Pacific Islands – formerly labeled as Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia).
A multilingual group of Pacific teachers, researchers and course designers with diverse and complementary expertise has been assembled. In addition to Dr Tuimaleali’ifano and Dr Quanchi of the USP Suva campus, the full project team consists of (from east to west across the Pacific) Professor Eric Conte of the University of French Polynesia in Tahiti, Dr Tamatoa Bambridge of the CRIOBE Research Centre on Moorea, Professor Lau Asofou So’o and Dr Louise Mata’ia of the National University of Samoa, Dr David Gegeo of the University of Canterbury, Dr Stuart Bedford of USP Port Vila and ANU, Dr Bernard Rigo of the University of New Caledonia, Dr Christophe Sand of the Institute of Archaeology in New Caledonia, Professor August Kituai of the University of Papua New Guinea, Dr Linda Crowl and Patrick Matbob of Divine Word University in Madang, Papua New Guinea, Professor Serge Tcherkezoff of the EHESS and ANU, Dr Paul D’Arcy of ANU, Dr Mariana Ben and Dr Delihna Ehmes of the College of Micronesia’s Pohnpei campus, Dr Anne Hattori and Dr Sharleen Santos-Bamba of the University of Guam, Professor Tong Yuan-Chao of the Taiwan Center for Pacific Studies, Nakao Eki Pacidal of Leiden University, and Professor Benoit Vermander of the Ricci Institute of Taiwan and Fudan University in Shanghai.
The course materials will be made available in electronic and printed formats across Moana to allow local campuses to supplement areas where local teaching expertise is lacking, to modify into locally appropriate programs, and to free already over-stretched staff from developing new courses. These benefits will allow smaller Pacific Island universities to concentrate on completing post-graduate studies and research, and to forge regional research networks of staff and students. In a parallel development, a research network linked to the project has already started which focuses on Pan-Pacific indigenous marine ecosystem management practices across history.
While the Moana project has benefitted from generous start-up funding from the French Pacific Fund, the project organizing committee is now seeking additional funding to push the project through to the delivery stage in late 2013 or early 2014. Building on the past 2 years of experience and preparation, the Moana Pan-Pacific course can be online and in print within a year for $AUD50,000. A number of potential financial partners and aid donors are currently being investigated, but suggestions for funding would be warmly received by the Moana organizing committee and their collaborators! Please contact Morgan Tuimalealiifano firstname.lastname@example.org or Alan Max Quanchi email@example.com for more information or if you can assist with this initiative.
[* "View of the Island of Tinian: Dugout Canoes from the Caroline Islands", from 'Voyage Autour du Monde sur les Corvettes de L'Uranie' engraved by Coutant, published 1825, Berard, A. and Taunay, Adrien Andre.]
Professor Wadan Narsey, in his latest post to Lowy's Interpreter, states that the Fijian government's "...clear breach of its own decrees and roadmap to democracy, as described in my previous post, has unsettled traditional donors and must also create serious question marks over the continuing support by China and India."
Conference: The South Pacific Agenda for Survival and Growth: A Framework for Coordinated Participation of Asian Donors?
11-13 December 2012, Port Vila, Vanuatu.
“The New Zealand Asia Institute of the University of Auckland has partnered with the Pacific Institute of Public Policy to host guest speakers and academics from the Pacific, New Zealand, China, Japan, Taiwan, Australia and United States (Hawaii)… A selection of academics will present papers on issues ranging from Chinese foreign aid in the South Pacific to the strategic priorities of the US in the Asia Pacific Region. Guest speakers will offer regional perspectives on foreign assistance from Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Tuvalu…” [read more].
The Pacific Institute congratulates ANU Master’s students Tauvasa Tanuvasa Chou-Lee (College of Law, pictured left) and Ana Soakai (Crawford School) who were among 30 Pacific students studying in Australia to receive the Prime Minister’s Pacific-Australia (PMPA) Award last Thursday (6 December 2012). Here we offer extracts from an interview with Tauvasa about his work and what he hopes to achieve with his PMPA Award. [We profile Ana Soakai in a post to Outrigger on 15 December 2012.]
Tauvasa Tanuvasa Chou-Lee (pictured above) was born in 1982 and raised in Port Moresby where he attended an international primary school, Tokarara High School, Port Moresby National High School and then the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG). He graduated from UPNG with a Bachelor of Laws degree with Honours in early 2005 and was admitted to the PNG Bar at the end of that same year after completing training at the PNG Legal Training Institute. In early 2006 he joined the Office of the Solicitor General, in Papua New Guinea’s Department of Justice and Attorney General. In 2011, he was awarded an Australian Development Scholarship (ADS) to pursue a Master’s degree in Law specialising in Government and Commercial Law. Tauvasa completes his degree at the end of this year and will return to PNG to re-commence his work as Deputy Solicitor General (State Defence) in the Office of the Solicitor General.
Tauvasa is passionate about his profession and hopes that the experiences he will gain through work experience supported by the PMPA scheme will help him make a significant contribution to efforts to improve the Office of the Solicitor General and the Department of Justice and Attorney General as a whole. With around 20 lawyers and an average load of around 400 cases per lawyer, lawyers in the Office of the Solicitor General need all the help they can get. Tauvasa notes “with charging and recovering costs that his office simply cannot cope with the current caseload and that they at times brief out matters to private law firms through the Attorney General often at great expense.” He is particularly concerned with workloads caused by serial litigants with often vexatious claims. Tauvasa feels keenly the responsibility of his office and recognises that “every time we lose a claim, we lose taxpayers’ money – money that could be spent on development, on improvements to peoples lives and livelihoods, especially in the rural areas where basic services and infrastructure are much needed.” He strongly believes that by working for the state (the primary client of the Office of the Solicitor General), he is working for the people of Papua New Guinea. He aims to help create a Government Legal Enterprise in PNG (an entity akin to the Australian Government Solicitor), which may advise and represent the Government of Papua New Guinea in courts and tribunals and help to de-politicise the work of his Office and that of the Department of Justice and Attorney General in the country.
Tauvasa is dedicated to his work in Papua New Guinea, even though the rest of his family live in Samoa. A citizen of PNG, he is one of a growing number of young Pacific Islanders whose familial connections span the Pacific Ocean. His Mother is from Central Province (with family from Baluan Island, Manus Province) and his Father is of chiefly Samoan (Tanuvasa from Manono) and Chinese ancestry. Tauvasa knows that this mix of culture, tradition and identity can be confronting for some, but for him it is about recognition of family and, as one Samoan saying goes, “People have more roots than trees.”
[See a media release about the 2012 PMPA awards on the AusAID website.]
‘Papua New Guinea in the Asian Century’ (Speech by The Hon Peter O’Neill, Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea)
12:30-1:45pm, 29 November
Lowy Institute for International Policy, 31 Bligh St, Sydney [read more].
Outrigger recently posted a note about the launch of the first centre for the study of Oceania in China.* In this follow-up post, we interview Prof. YU Chang-sen ((喻常森老师), the Deputy Executive Director of the Center for Oceanian Studies (COS) at Sun Yat-sen University (SYSU) about the Center and plans for its future.
What are the origins of the Center for Oceanian Studies in the School of Asia-Pacific Studies at Sun Yat-sen University and who is involved with the Center?
“As one of the top 10 ranked universities in China, SYSU** is committed to the internationalization of its teaching and research programs. (more…)
"I agree ... that increased international attention on the Pacific can have negative effects. But I also think it can be positive. I mean, the more attention on the Pacific, the more there will be expectations of better governance practices, including greater transparency. The negative aspect might be increased donor competition and poor practice.." [read more].
A new wave of US engagement in the Pacific is set to benefit the region’s nations as the US responds to the global rise of China, writes Stewart Firth.
Richard Tanter, in a new post to the Nautilus Peace and Security Network (NAPSNet) blog, writes that the recent rapprochement between New Zealand and the United States is born of shared concern about the rise of China and from a recognition by the US that New Zealand’s 1984 ban on “the entry of nuclear-armed ships is not incompatible with an alliance with the United States…” [read more].
Pacific Buzz (October 3): Pacific leaders at UN General Assembly | Setback for Fiji rehabilitation | PNG ready to raise West Papua issue… and more
Pacific Buzz is a fortnightly roundup of policy news in the Pacific by the Pacific Institute of Public Policy and the Development Policy Centre.
Commentators continue to question the relevance of the Pacific Islands Forum in a shifting geopolitical landscape and in light of a critical independent review. This year’s event in Rarotonga demonstrated that the Forum remains a valuable meeting place, albeit one with an increasing focus on bilateral side discussions and the international Post Forum Dialogue held after the main event. The review, which was commissioned by leaders at the 2011 meeting, identified a number of organisational and management reforms necessary to tackle the challenges that the Forum Secretariat faces servicing its members. The primary concerns relate to the lack of ownership by island states and their engagement with the secretariat. Leaders did not tackle some of the tough decisions that need to be made, instead deferring action pending another review of the Pacific Plan, which is to be led by Sir Mekere Morauta of Papua New Guinea.
This year’s Forum will be remembered as the one which highlighted the growing American and Chinese presence, with Hilary Clinton declaring ‘the Pacific is big enough for everyone’ as she outlined US re-engagement in the region. The Economist newspaper has questioned the re-found competition for influence in the region, suggesting America’s renewed interest ‘has brought the Pacific islands little of substance’.
As the US and Australia continue to call for greater transparency of Chinese aid, in a first in the region New Zealand has partnered with China to deliver a water project in Cook Islands.
Rebranding ‘small island states’
Forum host Cook Islands PM Henry Puna sought to rebrand the Pacific identity as ‘large ocean’ rather than ‘small island’ states. With a focus on sustainable marine resource management, including fisheries and seabed minerals, there was a significant announcement of new marine parks in Cook Islands and New Caledonia. Commercial activities will be allowed in these parks under the proviso that resource extraction is carried out sustainably. New Zealand, also, committed NZ$50 million to monitoring fisheries throughout the region and improving the management of tuna.
Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Marshall Islands, Tuvalu and Tokelau also signed agreements on maritime boundaries. Maritime agreements, which have previously been raised as a priority issue, should improve resource management and protect the statehood and maritime zones for countries facing inundation from sea level rise.
Another considerable announcement from the Forum was the AUD$330 million gender equality package by Australian PM Julia Gillard, aimed at improving representation of women in parliaments across the Pacific, in light of the region having the lowest levels of women’s representation in the world. The US and New Zealand backed the announcement, highlighting the need for more women in parliament, better maternal health care and campaigns against domestic violence.
Forum leaders again raised the challenge that Pacific island countries face in accessing the ‘new and additional’ climate change financing pledged by the international community since the 2009 Copenhagen summit, but welcomed news of a fresh commitment of AUD$58 million from Australia over four years.
The US also announced US$32 million in programme funding as a part of the Asia-Pacific Strategic Engagement Initiative, a new US assistance framework. These programs will address regional priorities, such as sustainable economic development that protects biodiversity.
As nuclear test survivor and international advocate, Lijon Eknilang, passed away in Majuro, Pacific leaders, particularly from Micronesia, called on Washington to remove the continued presence of radioactive contaminants left by 67 nuclear tests in the Marshall Islands from 1946-1958. Each year the Forum communiqué reiterates calls on the US to live up to its full obligations on the provision of compensation and restoration of affected areas.
While Pacific leaders did discuss broader security and human rights issues, they were again mute on the ongoing violence levelled against West Papuans. On the eve of the Forum, an ABC 7.30 television exposé alleged human rights violations are being committed by an Indonesian anti terrorism unit, which receives Australian and US training and equipment.
Our sea of islands to pose serious policy challenges is Nic Maclellan’s critical response to Damien Kingsbury’s recent opinion piece Gillard takes Pacific shopping list to regional forum. Readers must register with Crikey.com.au to read these posts.
On Thursday 9 August 2012, the Minister for Defence, Stephen Smith MP, delivered a speech at the Lowy Institute on how the Australian Government is addressing defence challenges ahead in the next Defence White Paper [read a transcript of this speech].
On 2 July 2012, a new Center for Oceanian Studies (大洋洲研究中心) was established at Sun Yat-Sen University (SYSU) (中山大学) in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China. It is the first centre in China dedicated to the study of Oceania (Australia, New Zealand and other Pacific Islands) and it seems fitting that it be based at a university that honours the ‘Father of the Nation’. Sun Yat-Sen spent much of his childhood, and completed most of his formal schooling, at Iolani and Oahu (now Punahou) in Hawai’i.
Photo: Unveiling ceremony at the Center for Oceanian Studies, 2 July 2012.
The formal ceremony to mark the opening of the Center for Oceanian Studies in the School of Asia Pacific was conducted by senior members of the SYSU executive and attended by heads of various provincial government departments, SYSU and other national university staff and students and several foreign academics. Speeches were given at the opening ceremony, including one by Ms Jill Collins, Australia’s Consul-General in Guangzhou. Prof. Yu Changsen (喻常森老师) and Dr. Fei Sheng (费晟), a former exchange student at the Australian National University, were instrumental in establishing the new Center for Oceanian Studies at SYSU.
Nautilus Peace and Security Weekly Report—Contributor’s blog entry for Austral Peace and Security: Go to the Weekly Report for 31 May 2012.
Pacific Buzz (April 18): Latest from PNG | Internet benefits | Labour mobility | Managing tuna…and more
A biweekly roundup of development policy issues in the Pacific by the Pacific Institute of Public Policy and the Development Policy Centre.
This report by Richard Herr and Anthony Bergin suggests that with Chinese influence in the region rising, the US appears to doubt that Australia can deliver on South Pacific issues. Australia is losing influence over collective decision-making in the South Pacific. This report provides recommendations for Australia to re-gather the threads of regional leadership [read more...]