FAR EAST CORRESPONDENT — Papua New Guinea has long harbored ambitions of becoming the 11th member of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). Theoretically it’s closer, culturally and geographically, to the Pacific islands to its east and, historically and financially, tied to Australia in the south.

But the benefits of being part of a trading bloc that accommodates 500 million people whose economies have enjoyed unprecedented growth and live on its back door are all too obvious. ASEAN knows this, and approaches by Port Moresby have been met with a polite ’no thanks, not yet.’ Read more in The Diplomat.

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Luke Hunt is a foreign correspondent, author and occasional photographer who has covered much of Asia fr the last 30 years.

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