Pacific aid

China slashes its aid to the Pacific

An assessment by Australian think tank, the Lowy Institute, showed while various Western nations were raising concerns about Chinese influence in the Pacific, Beijing was cutting back its involvement.

The Institute said Chinese aid, in the form of grants and low interest loans, peaked in 2016, at US$287 million.

Lowy's Pacific programme director, Jonathan Pryke said by 2019 that aid was down to US$169 million - its lowest level in seven years.

Australia's aid budget cuts are a win for the Pacific

The government delivered its annual budget on Tuesday, announcing that the country's foreign aid budget had been cut again.

The Australian National University's Stephen Howes said programmes in places like Pakistan, Nepal, Cambodia and Indonesia have been slashed by as much as half.

But he said the Pacific has been spared.

"The government's caught between these two conflicting objectives. On the one hand, it doesn't want to increase overall aid," he said.

NZ to increase aid to the Pacific - Peters

He is also hinting at an increase in baseline funding for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

In a speech to the LOWY Institute in Sydney this week, Mr Peters said New Zealand was a Pacific country, linked by history, culture, politics, and demographics.

"In many respects the Pacific is where New Zealand matters more, wields more influence, and can have more positive impact.

"We also see a region challenged by a dizzying array of social and environmental problems and one attracting an increasing number of external actors and interests."

Taiwanese visit could bring more aid to Pacific

The president will travel to three of Taiwan's six allies in the region, Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands and Solomon Islands.

Other countries recognise China instead of Taiwan in line with China's "One China" policy.

A professor of international relations at Auckland University Stephen Hoadley said President Tsai is trying to shore up relations with the Pacific bloc to prevent her country from becoming diplomatically isolated.

"This would certainly sweeten the feeling in the Pacific islands," Mr Hoadley said.