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Greater Australian engagement in the Pacific Islands region is needed if Canberra wants to ensure regional stability and underpin Australia’s national security.
China needs to increase its presence in South Asia for strategic and economic reasons. However, it needs to contend with an established American presence in some regional countries and a growing presence in others.
This paper argues that China’s rise, coupled with the established influence of the U.S in the South-West Pacific, could see the region become yet another proxy battlefield in the two antagonists’ power-plays.