Australia and Papua New Guinea Strengthen Security and Trade Relations

Australia and Papua New Guinea Strengthen Security and Trade Relations

The foreign minister of Papua New Guinea (PNG), Justin Tkachenko, has confirmed a firm security alliance with Australia in response to China’s growing regional influence. Seven ministers and the Australian police chief held discussions with Papua New Guinea about security and trade. Defence Minister Richard Marles highlighted that this delegation was the largest ever sent to any country.

On Thursday, the group is scheduled to visit the location of the catastrophic landslide that occurred in Enga province last month. Australia pledged its support for stability programmes in the highlands of Papua New Guinea, with an emphasis on weapons management.

The discussions took place after Chinese Premier Li Qiang visited Australia; during his tour, China also proposed a policing agreement with Papua New Guinea. As Tkachenko put it, the cooperation between PNG and Australia is “crystal clear.”

Penny Wong, Australia’s foreign minister, talked to PNG about “strategic trust” and was grateful for the promises made by the country. Aiming to deepen ties, Marles said that the processing times for PNG visa applications had been reduced from three months to seven days. Australia will invest A$200 million in PNG’s prisons, court system, police training, and internal security as part of a security accord the two nations reached in December.