IPAC Launches Indo-Pacific Forum in Response to PRC’s Growing Influence in the Region

August 22, 2022

Members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC) from Australia, India, Japan and New Zealand have today announced the launch of an Indo-Pacific forum for legislators. The IPAC Indo-Pacific Forum will deepen joint efforts in defending and enhancing the liberal rules-based order, shared values of democracy, freedom of expression and the rule of law.

The IPAC Indo-Pacific Forum will also enhance coordination in responding to China’s growing influence in the region, such as the recent security pact signed between the PRC (People’s Republic of China) government and the Solomon Islands.

This IPAC Indo-Pacific Forum will be the first inter-parliamentary forum of its kind specifically formed to address challenges posed by the intensifying dynamics in the region. Members hope to have additional legislators from South Korea, Taiwan, the Pacific Islands and other democratic partners in the region attend future meetings, as well as legislators from the US, UK and Europe.

In a joint statement released after the event, the legislators said:

“The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PID) has recently created a 2050 Strategy for the Pacific Blue Continent as a way of enhancing member states’ resilience and security. This strategy would seem to require that state actors who purport to strengthen countries in a way which directly impacts other regional members work through the Pacific Islands Forum, so that decisions are taken at a regional level. Bilateral security agreements like that with the Solomon Islands apply a divide and conquer approach to the Pacific which diminishes, not enhances, regional stability. We call on Pacific countries to continue to talanoa and dialogue with each other about matters of mutual importance before committing to any new bilateral arrangements by any actor, which impacts the collective security.”

The legislators also issued the following statement:


We, members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC), stand united in our desire to promote the upholding of human rights and safeguarding of democratic values across the Indo-Pacific region.

The sovereignty, integrity and freedom of the Pacific Islands are of paramount importance to all our countries. As such, we are deeply concerned by the recent announcement of a new security agreement between the PRC and the Solomon Islands, which could open the way for a PRC military base on the islands. In recent years the PRC government has inflamed border disputes with its neighbours and directed regular military threats against Taiwan, setting a worrying precedent for its role in the Pacific Islands.

We therefore call on our governments to continue to make clear to the PRC government – and any other government looking to involve themselves in our region — that any attempts to militarise the Pacific Islands are unwelcome and unacceptable. Democracies must stand together to uphold the peace and stability of the region.

Ingrid Leary MP

IPAC New Zealand Co-Chair

Simon O’Connor MP

IPAC New Zealand Co-Chair

Peter Khalil MP

IPAC Australia Co-Chair

Senator James Paterson

IPAC Australia Co-Chair

Rep. Ken Saitō

IPAC Japan Co-Chair

Clr. Yasue Funayama

IPAC Japan Co-Chair


Ingrid Leary MP commented:

“The fact that MPs from several Pacific nations are in the process of joining IPAC shows the seriousness in which they are taking the changing situation in the Pacific. We welcome their voices as being critically important to informing the alliance of their perspectives and insights, as well as how they wish other nation states respond to the intensifying dynamics in their region.”

Simon O’Connor MP commented:

“The IPAC Indo-Pacific Forum is as welcome opportunity to strengthen existing bonds between legislators and also create new relationships.  While we are representing different countries, many of our issues are the same including concerns around an expansionary PRC.  By talking together and engaging experts in the field, we are sharing important information and ensuring we cooperate together for the benefit of our Indo-Pacific region.”


  • The Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC) is an international cross-party network of legislators working to reform the approach of democratic countries towards China. A full list of IPAC’s 200 members across 27 legislatures is available on our website ipac.global.
  • This Regional forum is the first forum of its kind to take place on a continual basis as part of dialogue between individual Members of Parliament from the Pacific and surrounding nations.
  • This is in comparison to important hubs for dialogue, the Pacific Islands Forum and the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum, which are focused on dialogue on an annual basis.

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