China has been trying to gain influence with our near neighbours, the Cook Islands, for some time.
Now the Cook Island’s Prime Minister is off for a trip to Beijing
From the Communist Party of China website
At the invitation of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Jim Marurai will pay an official visit to China from Sept. 24 to 30, announced Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu here on Thursday.
In August 2006, PM Marurai met with with visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing.