China using economic might on Australia’s Pacific neighbours, eyeing ANOTHER nearby military base

How China is using its economic might to strong arm Australia’s Pacific neighbours as the communist superpower eyes ANOTHER military base on our doorstep

  • Having signed a security deal with Solomon Islands, China’s now eyeing PNG 
  • Foreign Minister said it’s ‘most challenging circumstances since World War II’
  • The Governor of PNG’s Oro Province asked ‘Is there a looming World War III?’

China is eyeing up a military base 100km from Australia shores, in a concerning development Penny Wong calls the ‘most challenging circumstances since World War II’.

Australia’s foreign minister, since coming to office in May, has been jet-setting around the South Pacific visiting Fiji, Samoa and Tonga and more to try and ward off China’s growing influence in the region.

The communist superpower already has a secretive security agreement in place with the Solomon Islands which paves the way for a naval base to be established on the island 2000km from Australia.

Now Beijing is reaching into it’s deep pockets to cement a similar pact with Papua New Guinea – less that 100km from Cape York in northern Queensland.

A development in the town of Kikori in PNG’s Gulf Province is of huge concern to Australia. 

China has handed over $30million to get a special economic zone off the ground and are desperate to invest more.

The futuristic $8billion development project is set to include an airport, naval base and military base carved out of out of jungle land in alongside Orokolo Bay at – about 250km northwest of the capital Port Moresby.

Peter KenGemar, the project director for Kikori’s special economic zone, said he does not have a preferred business partner for the ambitious project but admitted Chinese cash is rolling in.

‘We’re already getting support from China in the military and they have opened the door already,’ he told 60 Minutes. 

‘If they increased the amount of support they’re giving in that space, in the military space then they might pick up those two bases.

‘So yeah, that’s why Australia’s dropped off. China is inching way around and I don’t know what’s gonna happen.’

‘If Australia wants to have some say in this, then today is the time for us to talk.’

Australia's Foreign Minister Penny Wong (pictured) said 'We are facing the most challenging circumstances since World War II'

Australia’s Foreign Minister Penny Wong (pictured) said ‘We are facing the most challenging circumstances since World War II’

Having a base in PNG would be a huge boost for the authoritarian power in its desire to dominate the region.

The under-developed, resources-rich nation of PNG has been a major point of interest for Beijing in recent years as Australian influence has waned.

Chinese state-owned enterprises have already built an array of roads, bridges and port infrastructure across the sun-drenched country and even shelled out to build APEC House in 2018 – when President Xi Jinping was greeted with an official state welcome.

Under new Labor leadership, Australia is moving quickly to counteract China’s influence.

‘I wouldn’t describe it as scrambling. I would describe it as urgency,’ Ms Wong said. 

‘It’s about being authentic and demonstrating to the nations of the region that we get that our security is bound together and no one can go it alone.

‘We are facing the most challenging circumstances since World War II.’ 

Australia's north could soon be encircled by Chinese military forces as Beijing carries out a secret campaign to wield influence over small South Pacific nations, muscling in their seaports and eyeing off strategic patches of land

Australia’s north could soon be encircled by Chinese military forces as Beijing carries out a secret campaign to wield influence over small South Pacific nations, muscling in their seaports and eyeing off strategic patches of land

How China’s feud with Australia has escalated over the past three years

2019: Australian intelligence services conclude that China was responsible for a cyber-attack on Australia’s parliament and three largest political parties in the run-up to a May election.

April 2020: Australian PM Scott Morrison begins canvassing his fellow world leaders for an inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic. Britain and France are initially reluctant but more than 100 countries eventually back an investigation. 

April 15: Morrison is one of the few leaders to voice sympathy with Donald Trump’s criticisms of the World Health Organization, which the US president accuses of bias towards China. 

April 21: China’s embassy accuses Australian foreign minister Peter Dutton of ‘ignorance and bigotry’ and ‘parroting what those Americans have asserted’ after he called for China to be more transparent about the outbreak.  

April 23: Australia’s agriculture minister David Littleproud calls for G20 nations to campaign against the ‘wet markets’ which are common in China and linked to the earliest coronavirus cases.  

April 26: Chinese ambassador Cheng Jingye hints at a boycott of Australian wine and beef and says tourists and students might avoid Australia ‘while it’s not so friendly to China’. Canberra dismisses the threat and warns Beijing against ‘economic coercion’. 

May 11: China suspends beef imports from four of Australia’s largest meat processors. These account for more than a third of Australia’s $1.1billion beef exports to China. 

May 18: The World Health Organization backs a partial investigation into the pandemic, but China says it is a ‘joke’ for Australia to claim credit. The same day, China imposes an 80 per cent tariff on Australian barley. Australia says it may challenge this at the WTO. 

May 21: China announces new rules for iron ore imports which could allow Australian imports – usually worth $41billion per year – to be singled out for extra bureaucratic checks. 

June 5: Beijing warns tourists against travelling to Australia, alleging racism and violence against the Chinese in connection with Covid-19.  

June 9: China’s Ministry of Education warns students to think carefully about studying in Australia, similarly citing alleged racist incidents.   

June 19: Australia says it is under cyber-attack from a foreign state which government sources say is believed to be China. The attack has been targeting industry, schools, hospitals and government officials, Morrison says.

July 9: Australia suspends extradition treaty with Hong Kong and offers to extend the visas of 10,000 Hong Kongers who are already in Australia over China’s national security law which effectively bans protest.

August 18: China launches 12-month anti-dumping investigation into wines imported from Australia in a major threat to the $6billion industry. 

August 26: Prime Minster Scott Morrison announces he will legislate to stop states and territories signing deals with foreign powers that go against Australia’s foreign policy. Analysts said it is aimed at China.

October 13: Trade Minister Simon Birmingham says he’s investigating reports that Chinese customs officials have informally told state-owned steelmakers and power plants to stop Aussie coal, leaving it in ships off-shore.

November 2: Agriculture Minister David Littleproud reveals China is holding up Aussie lobster imports by checking them for minerals.

November 3: Barley, sugar, red wine, logs, coal, lobster and copper imports from Australia unofficially banned under a directive from the government, according to reports.

November 18: China releases bizarre dossier of 14 grievances with Australia. 

November 27: Australian coal exports to China have dropped 96 per cent in the first three weeks of November as 82 ships laden with 8.8million tonnes of coal are left floating off Chinese ports where they have been denied entry. 

November 28: Beijing imposed a 212 per cent tariff on Australia’s $1.2 billion wine exports, claiming they were being ‘dumped’ or sold at below-cost. The claim is denied by both Australia and Chinese importers. 

November 30: Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lijian Zhao posted a doctored image showing a grinning Australian soldier holding a knife to the throat of an Afghan child. The move outraged Australians. 

December 12: Australian coal is added to a Chinese blacklist.

December 24: China suspends imports of Australian timber from NSW and WA after local customs officers say they found pests in the cargo.

January 11, 2021: Australia blocks $300million construction deal that would have seen state-owned China State Construction Engineering Corporation takeover Probuild. The bid was blacked over national security concerns. 

February 5, 2021: China confirms Melbourne journalist and single mother Cheng Lei has been formally arrested after being detained in August, 2020.

February 23, 2021: China accuses Australia of being in an ‘axis of white supremacy’ with the UK, USA, Canada and NZ in an editorial.

March 11, 2021: Australia is accused of genocide by a Communist Party newspaper editor. 

March 15, 2021: Trade Minister Dan Tehan announced he wants the World Trade Organisation to help mediate discussions between the two countries over the trade dispute. 

April 21, 2021: Foreign Minister Marise Payne announces Australia has scrapped Victoria’s controversial Belt and Road deal with China using new veto powers. 

May 6, 2021: China indefinitely suspends all strategic economic talks with Australia, blaming the Morrison Government’s attitude towards the relationship. The move cuts off all diplomatic contact with Beijing under the China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue, freezing discussions between key officials below a ministerial level.

June 22, 2021: China tries to ‘ambush’ Australia with a push to officially declare the Great Barrier Reef ‘in danger’ 

September 15, 2021: Australia, the UK and the US announce the AUKUS security pact which will give the Australian military nuclear-powered submarines to counter China growing aggression in the Indo Pacific. The move is met with seething anger in Beijing. 

March 24, 2022: Details of a Memorandum of Understanding emerge which could allow Beijing to station warships on the Solomon Islands, just 1,000 miles off the coast of Australia. Canberra warns it is ‘concerned by any actions that destabilise the security of our region’.

April 25, 2022: Defence Minister Peter Dutton warns on Anzac Day that Russia and China’s resurgence means Australia must be on a war-footing. ‘The only way you can preserve peace is to prepare for war, and to be strong as a country,’ he said. ‘We’re in a period very similar to the 1930s.’

April 27, 2022: Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrew says China is likely to send troops to the Solomon Islands, and was using the row to derail Australia’s Federal Election. She said Beijing was ‘clearly very aware we are in a federal election campaign at the moment.’

May 13, 2022: Defence Minister Peter Dutton announces Australian military are tracking a Chinese spy ship 250 nautical miles northwest of Broome in WA near the Harold E Holt naval communication station. The sighting was mostly written off as a pre-election stunt.

June 5, 2022: A Chinese fighter jet intercepts an Australian spy plane with a ‘dangerous manoeuvre’ on May 26 and the details are revealed weeks later.



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