Webinar: COVID-19 and Intensifying Geopolitics in the Pacific

Research event
3 July 2020 — 9:00AM TO 10:00AM

In recent years the strategic importance of the Pacific has increased as both China and the US have sought to deepen economic and diplomatic ties with island nations in the region. Following the outbreak of COVID-19 in the Pacific in early March, Chinese embassies in multiple Pacific islands have shared medical advice and pledged donations, viewed by some as an attempt by Beijing to deepen its influence in the region.

At this webinar, speakers will assess what impact the outbreak of COVID-19 has had on the Pacific region, and to what extent it has precipitated geopolitical tensions. How are Pacific island countries responding to these geopolitical shifts? And how will this impact on the strategic outlooks of Australia, New Zealand and the US, as well as other actors in the region?


Anna Powles, Senior Lecturer in Security Studies, Centre for Defence and Security Studies, Massey University
Jose Sousa-Santos, Visiting Fellow, Australian National University Cyber Institute; Senior Associate, Centre for Lifelong Learning, Victoria University of Wellington
Chair: Champa Patel, Director, Asia-Pacific Programme, Chatham House

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