Oceania briefing— Global


We land in Tuvalu for our Flight Path series, report on dwindling natural resources in Papua New Guinea, and find out why Aussie rules football is going to China.

Oceania, Pacific, Election, Police, transport


That's the runway?


Airline: Air Pacific
Route: Nadi to Funafuti
Plane: ATR-42 (40-52 seats)
Frequency: Twice a week

Landing in Tuvalu certainly takes blind faith. The endless South Pacific doesn’t so much recede as take what seems to be a short and arbitrary break. One minute you’re soaring over endless topaz; the next you’re angling to touch down on a spit of land so narrow that it offers little more hope than a spectre.

Tuvalu, a tiny chain of coral atolls about halfway between Australia and Hawaii, is one of the most…

  • Though US-Australia relations have not been a dominant theme, Australia will still take an interest in the result: the US is its largest foreign investor.

  • America’s gathering interest in the Asia-Pacific region focuses on Australia but the latter has to consider its relationship with China. In August, Australia rejected a proposal to expand the HMAS Stirling naval base near Perth.

  • Australians are likely to prefer Obama to Romney: Australian approval of American leadership jumped from 25 to 69 per cent in the first two years of the post-Bush era.


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