Above is a map produced by the Sydney based Lowy Institute, an independent international policy think tank, detailing Communist Chinese aid projects throughout the Pacific. (If you go to their site you can see much more detail in the full version interactive map.) RNZ reports that
..Communist China is moving to boost its one on one links with individuals in the Pacific. As part of its efforts to grow links with island nations, Beijing has established a NZ$1.3 billion loan facility for the Pacific Islands. China’s President Xi Jinping has also pledged to provide 2000 university scholarships and 5000 training opportunities for Pacific Islanders in the next five years.
Meanwhile, more Chinese migrants are coming to live and do business in Pacific islands. The pattern broadly follows the Chinese government’s outreach strategy for Pacific Islands, offering more trade and investment than ever before.
China has a long-running relationship with Samoa and the examples of its high impact aid projects in Apia are many. But the Chinese are still some way off winning the hearts and minds of Pacific Islanders. Resentment at Chinese dominance in small to medium businesses throughout the Islands region is rife.
Walk into a supermarket or general store in most Pacific island countries and chances are you will find it is run by Chinese. A specialist in Samoan governance from the University of Otago’s Department of Politics, Iati Iati, has just concluded a survey in Samoa of grassroots views on Chinese in the country, and says there is a lot of concern that Samoans are being driven out of business.
Dr Iati says the most recent wave of Chinese immigrants does not seem to want to integrate with Samoa society.
“Not even to a small degree. The latest wave, they want to keep to themselves.”
Where ever the Chinese go in the Pacific, it seems to attract criticism. This is especially the case in Papua New Guinea. A specialist in journalism and publishing at PNG’s Divine Word University, Patrick Matbob says lax systems and widespread corruption in his country mean Chinese criminal interests have found an easy foothold.
The West seems unwilling to recognise that in terms of planning, Beijing thinks not in years but in decades and centuries. Its clear its long term objective is to colonise the Sth Pacific and it would take only a fraction of China’s 1.5 billion population to completely submerge local populations. NZers who welcome the vast invasion of Chinese into Auckland and other parts of the country should think long and hard about that.
An old friend of mine once said something to me that has stayed with me all my life and as simple as it is, it has been invaluable in understanding global political strategies. He said “Just look at the map.” If you look at the map above, what do you think it implies, in particular in reference to any long term military strategy that China may be planning?