• Jian Yang


China regards the Pacific island countries (PICs) as “important partners.”1 Though its influence in the region has been growing fast, China is not well positioned to challenge the U.S.-led West militarily for the foreseeable future. As Fergus Hanson rightly argues, “China’s defence aspirations in the South Pacific are likely to remain limited. Any significant military move by China in the region would be counterproductive.”2 China’s influence in the region is not deep-rooted either. China does not have strong connections with the South Pacific in noneconomic areas. Such connections are important for a stable, longlasting relationship. Culturally, the linkages between the South Pacific and China remain weak. China has serious image problems in the region, which have compromised its influence to a considerable extent. The success of China’s diplomacy in the South Pacific also requires the goodwill of regional major players, particularly Australia and New Zealand.3 China may well come to cooperate with Australia and New Zealand more on regional issues, such as on good governance and stability As Michael Powles argues, “Only the most hardened adherent to the darkest ‘China threat’ scenarios would believe that China could see any benefit in the national and regional instability that bad governance can bring.”4


China Return Pacific Island Country Grand Strategy China Threat Climate Change Fund 
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© Jian Yang 2011

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  • Jian Yang

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