The Pacific Islands has vaulted back to the centre of Australian foreign policy thinking. Prime Minister Morrison has positioned Australia’s Pacific “step up” as his signature foreign-policy initiative. Other governments have responded with their own “redial”, “pivot”, “uplift”, and “elevation” plans.
Much of this reengagement is being driven by China’s rise, with analysts fearing China will try to leverage its influence – be it debt, diplomacy, or trade – to achieve strategic outcomes, including setting up a military base. Great power competition has returned to the Pacific.
Foreign aid is often the first tool used by nations to engage in the region, much of which is underdeveloped and vulnerable to disasters and the effects of climate change. Each year, more than 60 donors invest more than US$2 billion in foreign aid in the Pacific. More than one third of this aid goes to Papua New Guinea.
This event will showcase the second-year update of the map, which incorporates new data and new functionality, as well as present new analysis of Chinese debt diplomacy and its impact on debt sustainability in the Pacific.
Join Lowy Institute researchers to discuss what’s new in the Lowy Institute Pacific Aid Map, and what it can tell us about development in Papua New Guinea.
Jonathan Pryke is Director of the Lowy Institute Pacific Islands Program.
Alexandre Dayant is a Research Fellow in the Lowy Institute Pacific Islands Program, and lead researcher of the Pacific Aid Map.
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