Pacific Islands

Australia signs climate, migration and security pact with Pacific's Tuvalu

November 10, 2023 3:29 pm

[Source: Reuters]

Australia Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Friday signed a bilateral agreement with Tuvalu, aimed at countering China’s influence in the Pacific and protecting the tiny island nation from climate change.

The agreement, which Albanese said made Australia Tuvalu’s “partner of choice”, covers climate change, security and human mobility.

“The Australia-Tuvalu Falepili union will be regarded as a significant day in which Australia acknowledged that we are part of the Pacific family,” Albanese told a news conference in the Cook Islands where he is attending a meeting of Pacific leaders.

Article continues after advertisement

Australia will create a special visa for up to 280 Tuvaluans annually, 2.5% of the 11,200 population. Funds will also be provided for land reclamation in Tuvalu to expand land in capital Funafuti by around 6%.

In a nod to China’s growing presence in the region, the agreement also requires the parties to consult before signing security or defence agreements with third parties.

Tuvalu is one of just 13 nations to maintain an official diplomatic relationship with Taiwan, as Beijing has made increasing inroads into the Pacific.