A leading Asian newspaper on the Cook islands big meeting
One reason for the new attention paid to the islands is Barack Obama’s “rebalancing” of America’s strategic posture towards Asia and the Pacific, an undeclared aim of which is to push back against expanding Chinese influence. Chinese soft loans to Tonga, Vanuatu, the Cook Islands and, more controversially, to the military regime in Fiji, have raised American eyebrows. So too has Chinese involvement in mining in PNG, although Mrs Clinton’s claim last year that China was trying to unpick Exxon Mobil’s $16 billion gas project in PNG was unfounded. Australia is also concerned, but its main grievance is Chinese reluctance to sign a compact on co-ordinating development aid that was agreed at the forum’s 2009 summit in Cairns, Queensland.
The competition for influence in the Pacific islands recalls the days when they were more significant, both economically and strategically. Two centuries ago, sailing ships from Britain, France and America ruthlessly hunted whales among the islands. In the 1840s Australian and American traders flocked in search of sandalwood, sea cucumbers and other Pacific delicacies to trade for tea in China. With the arrival of the steamship, Pacific deepwater harbours were briefly eyed as coaling stations, until design improvements made possible non-stop travel from San Francisco to Australia.
After Japan bombed Pearl Harbour in Hawaii in December 1941, ferocious fighting on Guadalcanal (Solomon Islands) and Bougainville (PNG) brought Americans in large numbers to the islands. After the war America took charge of formerly Japanese territories, most of which still have “compacts of free association” with the United States.
So far, however, American “rebalancing” has brought the Pacific Islands little of substance, aside from a few extra grants and the opening of an office in Port Moresby, PNG’s capital, by USAID, the American development agency. America’s realignment has mainly affected South-East Asia and Australia itself, with last year’s announcement of what amounts to a marine base in Darwin, North Australia.
Even now, despite this week’s diplomatic carpet-bombing of Rarotonga, the Pacific Islands are unlikely to play more than a symbolic role in America’s Pacific diplomacy. Galling as it must be for the islands, their main function for America may be as a way to stress the interests it shares with Australia and New Zealand.
no links , can't be bothered if you guys believe me or not , the deal is in the bag so , I think I know it is XOM because everyone has the most to gain ,and The way I see it it will be announced after the NEC approval so in september
I see two surprises :
ONE, IOC takes it time to discuss the bids with the BOD and after the choice SEC allows them 10 days MAX to announce it so september the whole month could be neccesary before we know it officially (rumors will have us on 100 before that) .
TWO. Shell will buy out E/A or all of IOC after the NEC approval, open bidding War
After years of patiently waiting and seeing the PPS go uip from 8 USD , to 84 back to 31 and recently setting a new HI of 92 , I can finally look forward to my 3 digit target price
My target price was 60 , then 100 then 165 and is now not a sell under 200
E/A in a cheap buyout by RDS is a 200/150 USD job