Far from being small island states, Pacific Island countries are showing themselves as large ocean states, with vast fisheries, potential seabed resources, and increasingly important geostrategic positioning - as the range of military bases dotted throughout the region can attest. However, just as the region is showing its importance, Western influence is waning. When the larger Western powers pulled out of the region following the end of the Cold War (the United Kingdom, for example, closed three South Pacific High Commissions in 2006), they turned to Australia and New Zealand to "manage" the area for the West. Ms. Cleo Paskal discusses how and why this happened and what are the options for the West in this new battle for the Pacific.
Ms. Cleo Paskal is an Associate Fellow in the Energy, Environment and Resources department at Chatham House, London, and Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Geopolitics, Manipal University, India.
Recorded at the East-West Center office in Washington, D.C., October 3, 2013