The US Government has recently issued a 30 page report about growing Chinese influence in this region.
The South West Pacific-US Interests and China’s Growing Influence
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has become a growing force in the Southwest Pacific as a result, some argue, of a political vacuum created by U.S.neglect.
In order to garner political and economic influence in relation to Taiwan, the United States, and U.S. allies as well as to access raw materials, China has expanded its diplomatic and commercial presence in the region.
By some accounts, the PRC has become the third-largest source of foreign aid to the South Pacific, which itlargely provides without the kinds of conditions or performance criteria — some say heavy-handedness — that have engendered resentment among some Pacific Islandcountries toward their major benefactor, Australia.
Although China’s influence is largely limited to diplomatic and economic “soft power,” some analysts worry about the PRC’s long-term intentions.
So they should. At least it appears the US is slowly waking up to Chinese inroads in this region.