Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Article: Kingdom of Tonga, The Pacific, And Geopolitics, part 1 (Tonga Chronicle)

Part One of Cleo's series on Tonga, the Pacific, and geopolitics has appeared in the Tonga Chronicle. An excerpt:
While many in the region consider themselves a backwater, that is inaccurate. From a geopolitical perspective, the nations of the Pacific offer (among other things):
  • Sea-lanes and ports in relatively calm waters (increasingly important as China in particular increases trade with South America);
  • Access to fisheries (something increasingly important as the Atlantic is fished out);
  • Agricultural exports (especially important, as concerns over food security increase in    countries such as China);
  • Unknown but potentially valuable underwater resources;
  • Geostrategic military basing sites;
  • Crucial votes in international fora (Pacific Island countries represent around a dozen votes in the UN – a substantial voting block).
Given what is at stake, other nations are understandably keen to take advantage of discontent with traditional partners to advance their own position in the Pacific.
For more, click here

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