Reports by and about Cleo Paskal: Associate Fellow Chatham House, London, UK; Trudeau Fellow, CÉRIUM, Canada; Adjunct Faculty Manipal University, India. Author Global Warring: How Environmental, Economic, And Political Crises Will Redraw The World Map.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Article: Pacific Geopolitics (Tonga Chronicle)
Cleo's latest Tonga Chronicle column is about how foreign policy decision permeate life in the Kingdom. An excerpt:
Nuku’alofa, Kingdom of Tonga – All Tongans feel the effects of foreign policy, whether it is when shopping for New Zealand products in Chinese shops, or applying for loans at an Australian bank, or paying for energy imports from the Middle East, or going to a hospital built by Japan, or having to fly through Auckland to visit relatives in the US.
Foreign policy decisions that affect Tonga are made all the time. But often, those decisions are not made in Tonga. Someone in New Zealand decides how many Tongans get seasonal worker visas. Someone in Australia sets import regulations that can limit Tongan exports. Someone at the World Bank writes conditions for funding that will keep the Tongan government solvent. Someone in Beijing decided the loan for rebuilding downtown would be paid back in Chinese currency.
Every day, and in many ways, foreign policy pervades, and shapes, life in Tonga. But, often, Tonga isn’t in control of that policy.