In this episode of the Asia Chessboard, hosts USSC CEO Mike Green and Freeman Chair in China Studies at CSIS Jude Blanchette sit with Pete Connolly, a retired officer in the Australian Defence Force and Adjunct Fellow with the Asia Program at CSIS, to discuss Chinese statecraft in the Pacific Islands. They start by unpacking China’s strategic interests in Melanesia and the Pacific Islands more broadly, and what its involvement in the region means for the US, Australia, and other allies and partners. Next, they dive into the military implications of increasing Chinese activity in the region. They then unpack allied interests in the Pacific Islands and local perceptions of China, the US, and Australia.

The Asia Chessboard is co-produced by the United States Studies Centre and Center for Strategic and International Studies and features in-depth conversations with the most prominent strategic thinkers on Asia. Co-hosts Dr Michael Green (CEO of the United States Studies Centre) and Jude Blanchette (Freeman Chair in China Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies) take the debate beyond the headlines of the day to explore the historical context and inside decision-making process on major geopolitical developments from the Himalayas to the South China Sea.