Australia and New Zealand React to China's Growing Influence in the South Pacific [July 26, 2018] [open pdf - 57KB]
"The July 24, 2018, Australia-United States Ministerial (AUSMIN) Joint Statement points to 'deepening engagement [between the United States and Australia] in the Indo-Pacific.' Canberra and Wellington are increasingly responding to Chinese influence operations in the Pacific region, as demonstrated by a number of recent actions, including Australia's passage of new foreign interference legislation; announcement of an possible new Australia-Vanuatu security agreement; New Zealand's adoption of a new Strategic Defence Policy Statement; steps toward a new Pacific Islands Forum security agreement; and increased aid from Australia and New Zealand to Pacific island states. In addition, Australia is boosting its defense budget, both Australia and New Zealand are making new military procurements, and Australia, New Zealand, and the United States held an inaugural Pacific Security Cooperation Dialogue in June 2018 'to discuss a wide range of security issues and identify areas to strengthen cooperation with Pacific Island countries on common regional challenges.' A review of these developments may assist Congress as it exercises oversight of the Administration's Indo-Pacific strategy."
CRS Insight, IN10938