19 May 2008

Concern in PNG at defence training links with China

7:23 pm on 19 May 2008

There are concerns in Papua New Guinea at plans for China to train the PNG Defence Force's officers.

Under a new agreement Papua New Guinea military officers will undertake military studies in China for up to three years.

It is part of a military aid package which has already seen a refurbishment of the Murray Barracks, the Defence Force's headquarters in Port Moresby.

Historically PNG soldiers have received supplementary training from Australia, New Zealand and the United States, and our correspondent, Oseah Philemon, says this latest development has come as a shock to many people.

"People are not sure about China because it is a system of government which is entirely different to the Papua New Guinea system of government and so it is a matter of concern about the type of training that the military officers from Papua New Guinea will receive from China - how will that fit in with the scheme of things in the PNG Defence Force? We don't know."