The Buzz | Think tank finds Chinese aid to Pacific nations has declined

China gave significantly less aid to Pacific island nations in recent years despite Beijing’s diplomatic efforts to increase its influence in the region, according to a Sydney-based think tank.
Chinese aid to the Pacific shrank by 31% in 2019 to $169 million, the Lowy Institute said in its annual Pacific Aid Map released yesterday.
Only the World Bank pulled back more that year, but that had been expected after aid tripled between 2017 and 2018 through an extraordinary burst of investment, said Jonathan Pryke, Pacific Islands program director at the international policy think tank.
“There has been a consistent level of growing engagement from China in previous years and we’ve seen this sharp decline in 2019 which is against the narrative,” Pryke said.
The map is a data base covering 66 donors and tens of thousands of aid projects in 14 Pacific island sovereign nations, which exclude the French territories of New Caledonia and French Polynesia.
Data since 2019 including the impact of the pandemic are incomplete and are not included in the latest report.

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