• Across The Region

    Indo-Pacific Countries Launch Major Trade Talks

    Economic ministers from more than a dozen Indo-Pacific countries launched negotiations in September 2022 on the United States’ first major regional trade engagement effort in nearly a decade. U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework talks in Los Angeles, California, were aimed at addressing future challenges and achieving “sustainable and equitable growth” in the region. U.S. President…

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  • Global Commons

    French-led Croix du Sud exercise highlights HADR, combat care

    FORUM Staff Troops conducted survival, combat, and humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR) drills during the French Armed Forces-led Croix du Sud exercise April 24 to May 6, 2023. Participants from 19 countries gathered in the South Pacific islands of New Caledonia, a French territory, to share skills and improve coordination and intervention capacities. Sgt. Kinsley Parent, a French combat…

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  • Conflicts - Tensions

    U.S. Coast Guard tackles IUU fishing, deepens partnerships in Oceania

    FORUM Staff A collaborative mission of enforcement and engagement brought success on both fronts during the United States Coast Guard cutter Oliver Henry’s monthlong, 9,700-kilometer patrol of the Pacific Ocean. The fast-response cutter traversed the exclusive economic zones of partner nations Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia, as well as international waters between the Pacific Island Countries to counter…

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  • Global Commons

    U.S. Navy, Coast Guard begin Oceania security patrol

    Commander/U.S. 3rd Fleet Public Affairs The United States Navy and U.S. Coast Guard began a joint patrol in March 2023 in the Western Pacific under the Oceania Maritime Security Initiative (OMSI) to counter illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, combat transnational crime and enhance regional security. “OMSI is imperative to ensure that the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) agreement…

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  • Features

    Cyberspace Freedom

    FORUM Staff When Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, the internet in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) echoed the Chinese government’s noncommittal stance, declining to portray Moscow’s military assault in Europe as an unprovoked attack. Censors commissioned by the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) were similarly vigilant in early 2022, limiting online exchanges during a COVID-19 lockdown, including information…

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  • Key Issues

    Cope North 2023 hones strategic combat skills, coordination among Pacific partners

    FORUM Staff Allies and partners in the Pacific launched exercise Cope North 2023 in February, bolstering their capacity for airborne force coordination, agile combat and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR). The exercise, sponsored by United States Pacific Air Forces (PACAF), brought together about 2,000 members of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), French Air and Space Force, Japan Air…

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  • Global CommonsThe Royal Australian Navy ship HMAS Wollongong patrols in the Torres Strait in 2021.

    Australia to speed up purchase of sea mines for maritime defense

    Reuters Australia will accelerate plans to buy advanced sea mines to protect its maritime routes and ports from “potential aggressors” amid the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) attempts to increase its influence in the Pacific region. The mines are designed to differentiate between military targets and other types of ships, the Australian Defence Department said in a late January 2023…

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  • Key IssuesPapua New Guinea's Prime Minister James Marape (L) and his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese pose for photos prior to their bilateral meeting in Port Moresby on January 12, 2023.

    Australia, Papua New Guinea finalizing new security pact

    The Associated Press Australia and Papua New Guinea are finalizing a new security treaty, the neighboring nations’ leaders said in January 2023, a move seen as a counter to the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) growing assertiveness in the region. Details of the planned treaty weren’t released, but Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said he expected negotiations to conclude in…

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  • Global CommonsUS Marine officers stand next to the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS)

    HIMARS rocket launchers will boost Australia’s strike capability

    Benar News Australia plans to buy United States-made mobile rocket launchers that can strike distant targets, substantially boosting its military capability as rivalries intensify in the Indo-Pacific. The deal announced in early January 2023 is another sign of closer defense ties between Australia and the U.S. in response to the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) growing military strength. Australia’s government said…

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  • Conflicts - TensionsTaiwan Tsai Army

    Taiwan’s military service extension common, necessary

    FORUM Staff Taiwan’s tripling of compulsory military service terms aligns with mandates elsewhere — mostly by armed forces facing potential or active conflicts. Forty-nine militaries worldwide require varying levels of participation. Others are authorized to summon residents for duty if needed. Spurred by threats from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and lessons learned from Russia’s unprovoked assault on Ukraine, Taiwan…

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