I have been working on a project focused on the growing Chinese presence in the South Pacific. It will eventually materialise as a magazine or journal article, but as I worked on the draft I decided it would make for a decent “Word from Afar” column at Scoop. Because of its length I have cut it into two parts as well as expanded or modified some aspects of the original text. This first part explores China’s growing influence in the Southwestern Pacific Rim.
Next week I shall cover the US response.
Do you think we will see a response to the ‘benign’ strategic environment in next years Defence Review?
I am pretty sure that NZDF and MoD planners have begun to consider the implications of the Chinese presence in the neighbourhood, So yes, I expect to see mention made of it in the White Paper. Also remember that the last two NZSIS annual reports flag “foreign” electronic espionage and the presence of “foreign” intelligence agents iN NZ as one of its primary concerns. I would bet that by “foreign” it is really talking about the PRC. NZ’s strategic environment may be mellow (at least when compared to other regions), but it is not necessarily benign.
I know this is slightly off topic, but did you happen to make a submission to the review?
You do realise that I am persona non grata in NZ, at least amongst the security elite as well as academic managers? Anything I touch is poison because I have criticized all major parties and the bureaucracy at one time or another about their handling of security issues (as well as NZ academic bosses about foreign student admissions).
I leave it to former students and others in NZ to take up the gauntlet and make hay out of what is obvious. Until (if) I can get back there, I have no say.