China aid

Australia's Bishop calls Pacific leaders amid aid row fallout

Last week, international development minister Concetta Fierravanti-Wells claimed China was lending on unfavourable terms and constructing "useless buildings" and "roads to nowhere."

The Senator's comments sparked a backlash from Pacific leaders and Beijing, with the Cook Islands finance minister calling them unfortunate, and Samoa's prime minister calling them insulting.

Beijing hit back, and a number of analysts have been quick to point out Australian-funded roads to nowhere and a general lack of attention to the region by Canberra, which has opened the door to China.

China aid could destabilise Pacific

The flow of no-strings-attached foreign aid from countries such as China to Pacific island nations could destabilise Australia's neighbourhood.

That's the view of a new report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute released on Monday.

Author Joanne Wallis argues the influx of aid and investment from non-traditional external powers such as China runs the risk of destabilising recipient states.

China likely to team up more on aid to Pacific

An expert on China's foreign aid programme, Denghua Zhang, said the Te Mato Vai project in the Cook Islands was helping China learn about aid delivery and monitoring.

According to his research, about four percent of China's total aid spend goes to Oceania, most of that in soft loans for new roads and other infrastructure.

Mr Zhang said China was increasingly teaming up with traditional donor countries and agencies like the UN Development Programme and it saw the Pacific as a good testing ground for such co-operation.