Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here�s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.


 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate

Subscribe!
Subscribe





On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.
___________

Syndicate
RSS/XML


RSS 2.0

Papua New Guinea sides with China on Hong Kong

By Jeffrey Wall - posted Thursday, 16 July 2020


The United Nations Human Rights Council recently voted on a resolution supporting China's draconian national security law that has effectively crushed free speech and freedom of assembly in Hong Kong.

The resolution was carried with the support of 53 nations including Cuba, Iran, Venezuela and, of course, China. Many of the supportive nations have questionable human rights records.

The 'yes' votes included a mix of nations that always align with China and others, many from Africa, that were added to the list because they're locked into infrastructure projects under Beijing's Belt and Road Initiative.

Advertisement

Papua New Guinea voted 'yes'. Sadly, that has not been reported in PNG's daily media, or even on social media.

By voting to support the crushing of free speech and freedom of assembly, among other basic rights, PNG voted against the spirit of its own constitution, adopted at independence in 1975, which guarantees those rights for its citizens, along with a free press.

To its enduring credit, PNG's Supreme Court has vigorously protected these constitutional freedoms against legislation and against regulations seeking to erode them or even put limits on them.

PNG's vote in the Human Rights Council is a sad reflection of the state of foreign policy in our closest neighbour. Instead of pursuing an independent policy, also provided for in the constitution, PNG is increasingly aligning itself with the People's Republic of China when it counts.

This has not been debated seriously in the national parliament or, I suspect, even by the National Executive Council, PNG's cabinet.

There can be only two reasons why PNG voted as it did, and as it increasingly does in regional and international forums. Both present serious foreign policy challenges, and regional security and stability challenges, for Australia.

Advertisement

First, PNG acted in similar fashion to the African nations lined up behind China - the PNG government signed up to the BRI in 2018 and that program is gradually expanding across the South Pacific.

There can be no doubt that funding, principally via heavily conditional loans, under the BRI for developing nations - and jurisdictions in developed countries, such as the state of Victoria in Australia - depends on these countries and jurisdictions supporting the PRC line in bodies where it exerts considerable influence, such as the Human Rights Council and the World Health Organization.

PNG is now locked into that, though neither the parliament nor the people were told this would be the case when, with much fanfare, PNG signed up to the BRI.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. All

This article was first published in The Strategist.



Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

20 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with del.icio.us Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Jeffrey Wall OBE is a Brisbane Political Consultant and has served as Advisor to the PNG Foreign Minister, Sir Rabbie Namaliu – Prime Minister 1988-1992 and Speaker 1994-1997.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Jeffrey Wall

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Article Tools
Comment 20 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend
Advertisement

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy