A new report from one of Australia's most respected policy institutes
criticizes China's aid program to the Pacific island states.
The Lowy Institute's report says China's aid program in the South Pacific lacks long-term goals and is too secretive.
recent years, Beijing sharply increased the amount of financial support
it gives to island nations. In 2008, China gave $200 million, making it
the second largest contributor of aid in the region after Australia.
Lowy Institute, a foreign policy research center, thinks that China's
system of aid is so secretive and inconsistent that it makes long-term
planning difficult for recipients.
Analysts conclude that
China's lack of transparency makes it hard for other donors to know
what projects are being done, leading to duplicated efforts.
There has been no official reaction from Beijing to the report.
The institute's Fergus Hansen says Beijing's unilateral approach to distributing aid in the South Pacific causes problems.
you look at China's aid by contrast, it's very sporadic and it tends to
focus on one-off projects," said Hansen. "For example if you look at
aid to Micronesia, in 2008 its pledge was worth just 28 percent of the
amount it had promised the previous years, and it really means that for
these governments it's very hard to rely on Chinese aid or to look at
long-term development strategies."
By contrast, Hansen says
that other international donors, including Australia and the United
States, focus on long-term objectives, such as improving education and
The Lowy Institute also reports that China pays Pacific island governments vast amounts of money not to recognize Taiwan.
report also notes concerns about China's support for Fiji's military
strongman, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, who seized power in a coup in
Hansen thinks Beijing's support for Fiji's military
government is a "miscalculation" because of Commodore Bainimarama's
lack of domestic support in Fiji and what analysts see as his
precarious grip on power.