Small Islands, Deadly Stakes

The Melanesian Spearhead Group

MSG headquarters in Port Vila, Vanuatu.

China has considerable appeal in the Pacific as it offers market and donation benefits that are unencumbered by the regulatory millstones of Western countries, which are also offering deals like Australia’s “Step Up” initiative and development aid, and the US “Pacific Partnership Strategy” on diplomatic engagement and security. These projects have bigger geopolitical agendas than aid projects and are mainly concerned with countering China and undermining Pacific Island autonomy by setting up a donor-recipient dynamic.

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