PNG: new friend versus old, APEC and polio

By Annmaree O’Keeffe*

The condemnation of China last week by Nauru’s President Baron Waqa at the Pacific Island Forum leaders’ meeting may have been bolstered by Taiwan’s substantial investment in that tiny Pacific nation of 13,000 people. Nauru is one of six Pacific countries to have diplomatic relations with Taiwan. But the outburst was timely and apposite. China’s growing influence in the Pacific – including through the exponential increase in its aid investments – has been the topic of extensive analysis and commentary. The latest instance of China’s expanding engagement in the region is its mooted investment in the upgrade of a multi-use port for Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island.

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