Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been touched by Forrest Gump magic. His “Pacific family” policy label has already delivered wins that are as surprising as they are promising.
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China appears to have switched from a foot-dragging strategy to public enthusiasm for a finalised agreement on an ASEAN-China Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea. Such a document may reduce the scope for American involvement, but doesn’t necessarily mean that China desires a wholesale overhaul of the rules-based order.
New Zealand’s new gun laws were overwhelmingly supported by both sides of politics and the media. Yet promises that the changes will prevent future mass shootings have quietly been dropped, suggesting officials understand what happened after Australia sweeping legislative changes of the mid-1990s.
As the Pacific Pivot gathers momentum, it is time for more breadth in Pacific security analysis and more sustained effort to invite women to be part of negotiations. And it is time that those devising this security architecture reacquaint themselves with our government’s promises to Pacific women.