17 Nov 2023
Australia-Tuvalu Falepili Union, Philippines and the South China Sea
Last week, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese attended the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders' Meeting in Cook Islands, where he and the Prime Minister of Tuvalu announced a major new agreement – the Australia-Tuvalu Falepili Union. In this episode, David Wroe speaks with the ABC’s foreign affairs reporter Stephen Dziedzic about the significance of the agreement, its strategic importance to competition with Beijing, how the deal was done, and whether it can be replicated with other Pacific island nations.
Shifting focus to Southeast Asia, the final interview from our Disruption and Deterrence series, which was recorded on the sidelines of ASPI’s major Defence conference earlier this year, focuses on the South China Sea. Euan Graham speaks with Ignacio Madriaga, Undersecretary for Strategic Assessment and Planning in the Philippines Department of National Defense. They discuss the challenges the Philippines faces from China in the South China Sea through four AIs – artificial islands, alternate interpretation of the rules-based order, aggressive interaction and ability to influence.