Australia, Japan, U.S. to fund undersea cable for Pacific island of Palau


The Pacific island of Palau will build an undersea telecoms cable financed by Australia, Japan and the United States in a $30-million project, Australia said on Wednesday.

It is the first project financed under an infrastructure investment partnership in the region among the three nations, foreign minister Marise Payne said in a statement.

"We are very pleased to work alongside Japan and the United States to support Palau’s vision to strengthen its global internet connectivity," she added.

The cable will link Palau to a new cable spanning the Indo-Pacific region from Singapore to the west coast of the United States, the statement said.

Australia has stepped up engagement in the Pacific Island region amid concerns over rising Chinese influence, and the three nations' infrastructure investment partnership is seen as offering an alternative to Chinese funding.

"Australia recently opened its first embassy in Palau," Payne added, as part of its Pacific Step-Up program.

Australia will contribute $10 million to the Palau cable project, including a $9-million construction loan.

It has committed A$1.44 billion ($1 billion) in aid to the region in 2020-21, as well as A$2 billion through the infrastructure investment fund.

In 2018, Australia agreed to fund construction of the Coral Sea cable system for the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.

That replaced an earlier deal the two nations had struck with China's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd to lay a cable via Sydney, which Canberra feared could jeopardise its broadband network.

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

Where? And why is our tax money paying for that?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

uktokeo, it’s called soft power, advancing Japan’s broader interests and security by helping others in the region so they don’t end up in a Chinese debt trap and subject to CCP extortion and control.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Where? And why is our tax money paying for that?

I think Japan can spare $10 Million to help out dirt poor islanders have decent communications. Its called being a good global citizen. Better than this poor nation taking a Chinese loan with huge interest, defaulting, and having the island repossessed in 5-10 years.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Where? And why is our tax money paying for that?

Palau, the scene of a fierce WWII battle, is friendly to the US, Japan and Australia. The US has a small military presence there but Palau is being courted by China, which has been throwing lots and lots of development money at all the small island nations in the Pacific. Palau is one of only 15 nations to have diplomatic relations with Taiwan and China would very much like to see this change. Throwing money at development programs is one of the ways they accomplish this. They recently flipped the Solomon Islands this way. The US and Australia are trying to promote diplomatic engagement with Taiwan and fend off Chinese attempts to buy friends in the Pacific.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites