Australia in the Asia Pacific region

Policy background

Successive Australian governments are using the pretext of the “war on terror” and the danger of “failed states” to aggressively assert and extend imperialist domination of the Asia Pacific region.

Australia is the economic and military giant of the region, responsible for:

  • Turning East Timor into a virtual colony for Australian business interests while denying its government and people their fair share of the Timor Sea oil and gas;
  • Sending troops and senior public servants to take control of the Solomons;
  • Attempting to do the same in Papua New Guinea;
  • Using PNG and Nauru (and approaching Cambodia, Malaysia and Sri Lanka) as dumping grounds for asylum-seekers; and
  • Supporting the Indonesian government’s campaign to frustrate the national liberation movements in West Papua and Aceh.

Socialist Alliance supports and campaigns for:

  • The abolition of debts to Australia incurred by poor nations in the South Pacific and south-east Asia;
  • The extension of aid programs, under the democratic control of local communities;
  • An extension of Australian citizenship to Pacific islanders displaced by global warming;
  • The withdrawal of Australian troops and police from countries in the region;
  • Australian government recognition of the maritime boundaries in the Timor Sea in accordance with international law, which would favour the East Timorese claim over the Timor Gap seabed;
  • Solidarity with genuine national liberation movements and trade unions in the region, including:
    • West Papua
      • Solidarity with the struggle of the West Papuan independence movement and that movement's demand for a real act of self-determination, conducted under UN-supervision and with human rights monitoring and access for journalists;
      • As steps towards this end, we support West Papua's bid for full membership in the Melanesian Spearhead Group and its call for an independent fact-finding mission into West Papua and international assistance for West Papuan refugees in Papua New Guinea;
      • An end to the Australian Government’s support of the continuing occupation by the Indonesian Government and the brutal suppression by the Indonesian military of independence activists;
    • Aceh
      • The campaign for self-determination by the peoples of Aceh;
    • Tibet
      • The right of self-determination of the Tibetan people and other oppressed minorities in China and we condemn violations of their human rights.