TFD Stocks Overview

Sink or swim: Chinese port plans put Pacific back in play

Jonathan Barrett

Early in the morning, before sunrise, low tide on the Samoan island of Savai’i reveals the remnants of an old American airstrip, washed away by decades of erosion, cyclones and tsunamis.
The World War II site in Asau, which also hosts a 1960s-era concrete wharf in its well-protected natural harbor, is being considered for a new port to be developed by China, according to the Samoan government and the area’s highest ranking chief, Masoe Serota Tufaga.
The proposed construction of a facility that could be turned into a military asset in hostile times has worried the United States and its regional allies, which have dominated international influence in the vast waters of the South Pacific since 1945.
Sitting at his coconut and cocoa plantation on the hills above the port site, Tufaga told Reuters he would abide by any government deal for a Chinese-developed port even though he was concerned about Beijing’s growing influence.
“The government and China came here to look at it – they offered it,” said 71-year-old Tufaga, who has the final say over land-use agreements affecting Asau.
“If China wants to operate this, it’s too hard for us to say to the government, no, we can not allow China here. The people are looking for some jobs.
“That’s right – it’s money. It’s money.”
The United States, and allies including Japan, Australia and New Zealand, are actively expanding their diplomatic postings in the Pacific to counter China’s influence, and warning island nations that Beijing-funded projects needed to make financial sense.
China is using “predatory economics” to destabilize the Indo-Pacific and the United States is working with its partners to address the region’s pressing security needs, U.S. Defence Secretary Mark Esper said in Sydney on Sunday.
China’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to questions. Previously, China has said its assistance was welcomed in the Pacific and Chinese President Xi Jinping told a regional forum last year Beijing’s lending activities were not a “trap”.
Though tiny in land mass, Pacific islands control vast swaths of resource-rich ocean called Exclusive Economic Zones, forming a formidable boundary between the Americas and Asia.
During WWII, American and Allied forces were able to halt the advance of the Imperial Japanese Army at a number of key battles in the South Pacific, helping turn the tide of the war.
Each Pacific state also represents a vote at international forums such as the United Nations, and the region is home to more than one-third of the nations that recognize Taiwan as a sovereign entity, to the chagrin of China.
The potential Chinese development of Asau, or a Beijing-funded port at a second potential site called Vaiusu, threatens to spark a waterfront contest in the world’s largest ocean.
Japan has just invested billions of yen expanding Samoa’s only existing commercial port, Matautu, and is building a bridge connecting the wharf and industrial precincts.
Isao Kishi, Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission at the Japanese embassy in Samoa, said Japan contributed to the Pacific, and the expansion of the port, to improve peace and stability.
“Japan is surrounded by oceans and we are very indebted to the oceans,” said Kishi. “We are very interested in keeping order in the region.”
While the United States and its allies have historically been the predominant power in the Pacific, China also has long-standing ties with many islands.
Samoa recognized China in 1976 and a strong history of migration means around one-sixth of the island nation’s 200,000 residents are of mixed Samoan and Chinese descent, according to census data.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has been a strong supporter of Beijing, last year saying Pacific states had themselves to blame for their debt problems and describing criticism of China’s lending as patronizing.
He told Reuters he would not allow geopolitical fears to stifle development of much-needed infrastructure and said Samoa would “follow our own line of thought”, not that of the United States and its allies.
“Their enemies are not our enemies,” Malielegaoi told Reuters at his office in the Samoan capital, Apia.
“We have never spoken about any military thing; all we are interested in is our own wharf for ships that bring the goods in that we need and fishing vessels that might come in to take our fish overseas.”
Malielegaoi, who competed in archery at the recent Pacific Games, said even local Chinese investment in stores was helping Samoa become more competitive.
“If you want to compete with the Chinese you yourself need to do what they are doing, go and copy,” he said.
In fellow Pacific nation Vanuatu, a $54 million repair and upgrade to Luganville port facility, funded by Export-Import Bank of China, has also caught the attention of Western allies.
The development includes a 360m (1,200 foot) wharf for large vessels. But the number of cruise ships docking in Luganville has declined since the overhaul was completed in 2017, according to analysis of Vanuatu’s budget documents, creating an extra debt burden and no additional income.
Vanuatu and Samoa are two of seven island nations in the South Pacific that owe significant debt to China. Nearby Tonga gave up the hosting rights to the recent Pacific Games to Samoa because of the strain on its finances.
One island country unable to meet its loan conditions, Sri Lanka, handed China a long-term lease over the strategic Hambantota port in 2017 to pay down its debts.
Costly maintenance of under-utilized infrastructure is a problem for small Pacific economies which have been falling further into the red over the past decade.
Reuters visited two airfields on the island of Savai’i – Maota and Asau – which despite not being operational, were being maintained to stop the jungle from reclaiming the land.
Opposition lawmaker Olo Fiti Vaai said Samoa risked being pushed into the hands of its creditors if it built more burdensome infrastructure.
“Airfields and wharfs are expensive to maintain,” Vaai said. “If we build more infrastructure that we can’t make money from, we don’t know how we are going to pay back the Chinese government.”
Reuters’ analysis of Pacific nation budgets has found China increased its concessional loans over the past decade from almost zero to become the largest financier in the Pacific, bankrolling everything from ports and airports to sports stadiums and boulevards.
In response, Australia has channeled additional aid to remain the Pacific’s biggest donor and announced a new military unit dedicated to training and assisting Pacific allies.
Chinese flags have festooned Beijing-funded infrastructure around the Pacific, an issue that triggered criticism in Samoa early this year.
At July’s Pacific Games in Samoa, China’s five-starred Red Flags had largely been removed.
The founder of one of Games’ major sponsors, Shanghai-based Legend Sportswear, said China’s involvement in Samoa was purely commercial, and now more subtle.
“They keep a low profile – I’m the only one with a Chinese flag,” said Tan Kek Looi while watching the Rugby 7s tournament.
“The Chinese government do things on the low-key,” said Looi. “China has never conquered a country. It has been a commercial country.”
Alison Stuart, division director of small states for the International Monetary Fund’s Asia Pacific department, said many Pacific countries needed financing to address large infrastructure gaps and to build resilience to natural disasters.
“At the same time, susceptibility to shocks and large development needs also mean that these countries can be vulnerable to a rapid buildup of debt burdens,” Stuart said in a written response to Reuters’ questions.
Chinese loans account for almost 40% of Samoa’s total external debt of 1.05 billion tala ($386.5 million) making Beijing easily its single biggest creditor.
Samoan lawyer Unasa Iuni Sapolu heads a new political party that plans to ban Chinese migration and says the island nation risks losing its sovereignty if it does not change paths.
“For a number of years, money has been dangling in front of our peoples’ face, in front of our peoples’ eyes, so we could fall for the flash buildings we have – it’s costly,” said Sapolu.
Store-owners at Apia’s waterfront told Reuters they were concerned about China’s growing influence over the country’s finances, and feared local Chinese-run shops undercutting prices.
In Asau, village chiefs have barred Chinese-run shops over fears they will push out local businesses.
But Tufaga said the area was in desperate need of jobs and the port required significant investment to clear coral choking the entrance.
“Who else will do it?” he said. “We are waiting for China to extend the harbor for the big ships to enter.” -Courtesy: Reuters

xosotin chelseathông tin chuyển nhượngcâu lạc bộ bóng đá arsenalbóng đá atalantabundesligacầu thủ haalandUEFAevertonfutebol ao vivofutemaxmulticanaisonbetbóng đá world cupbóng đá inter milantin juventusbenzemala ligaclb leicester cityMUman citymessi lionelsalahnapolineymarpsgronaldoserie atottenhamvalenciaAS ROMALeverkusenac milanmbappenapolinewcastleaston villaliverpoolfa cupreal madridpremier leagueAjaxbao bong da247EPLbarcelonabournemouthaff cupasean footballbên lề sân cỏbáo bóng đá mớibóng đá cúp thế giớitin bóng đá ViệtUEFAbáo bóng đá việt namHuyền thoại bóng đágiải ngoại hạng anhSeagametap chi bong da the gioitin bong da lutrận đấu hôm nayviệt nam bóng đátin nong bong daBóng đá nữthể thao 7m24h bóng đábóng đá hôm naythe thao ngoai hang anhtin nhanh bóng đáphòng thay đồ bóng đábóng đá phủikèo nhà cái onbetbóng đá lu 2thông tin phòng thay đồthe thao vuaapp đánh lô đềdudoanxosoxổ số giải đặc biệthôm nay xổ sốkèo đẹp hôm nayketquaxosokq xskqxsmnsoi cầu ba miềnsoi cau thong kesxkt hôm naythế giới xổ sốxổ số 24hxo.soxoso3mienxo so ba mienxoso dac bietxosodientoanxổ số dự đoánvé số chiều xổxoso ket quaxosokienthietxoso kq hôm nayxoso ktxổ số megaxổ số mới nhất hôm nayxoso truc tiepxoso ViệtSX3MIENxs dự đoánxs mien bac hom nayxs miên namxsmientrungxsmn thu 7con số may mắn hôm nayKQXS 3 miền Bắc Trung Nam Nhanhdự đoán xổ số 3 miềndò vé sốdu doan xo so hom nayket qua xo xoket qua xo so.vntrúng thưởng xo sokq xoso trực tiếpket qua xskqxs 247số miền nams0x0 mienbacxosobamien hôm naysố đẹp hôm naysố đẹp trực tuyếnnuôi số đẹpxo so hom quaxoso ketquaxstruc tiep hom nayxổ số kiến thiết trực tiếpxổ số kq hôm nayso xo kq trực tuyenkết quả xổ số miền bắc trực tiếpxo so miền namxổ số miền nam trực tiếptrực tiếp xổ số hôm nayket wa xsKQ XOSOxoso onlinexo so truc tiep hom nayxsttso mien bac trong ngàyKQXS3Msố so mien bacdu doan xo so onlinedu doan cau loxổ số kenokqxs vnKQXOSOKQXS hôm naytrực tiếp kết quả xổ số ba miềncap lo dep nhat hom naysoi cầu chuẩn hôm nayso ket qua xo soXem kết quả xổ số nhanh nhấtSX3MIENXSMB chủ nhậtKQXSMNkết quả mở giải trực tuyếnGiờ vàng chốt số OnlineĐánh Đề Con Gìdò số miền namdò vé số hôm nayso mo so debach thủ lô đẹp nhất hôm naycầu đề hôm naykết quả xổ số kiến thiết toàn quốccau dep 88xsmb rong bach kimket qua xs 2023dự đoán xổ số hàng ngàyBạch thủ đề miền BắcSoi Cầu MB thần tàisoi cau vip 247soi cầu tốtsoi cầu miễn phísoi cau mb vipxsmb hom nayxs vietlottxsmn hôm naycầu lô đẹpthống kê lô kép xổ số miền Bắcquay thử xsmnxổ số thần tàiQuay thử XSMTxổ số chiều nayxo so mien nam hom nayweb đánh lô đề trực tuyến uy tínKQXS hôm nayxsmb ngày hôm nayXSMT chủ nhậtxổ số Power 6/55KQXS A trúng roycao thủ chốt sốbảng xổ số đặc biệtsoi cầu 247 vipsoi cầu wap 666Soi cầu miễn phí 888 VIPSoi Cau Chuan MBđộc thủ desố miền bắcthần tài cho sốKết quả xổ số thần tàiXem trực tiếp xổ sốXIN SỐ THẦN TÀI THỔ ĐỊACầu lô số đẹplô đẹp vip 24hsoi cầu miễn phí 888xổ số kiến thiết chiều nayXSMN thứ 7 hàng tuầnKết quả Xổ số Hồ Chí Minhnhà cái xổ số Việt NamXổ Số Đại PhátXổ số mới nhất Hôm Nayso xo mb hom nayxxmb88quay thu mbXo so Minh ChinhXS Minh Ngọc trực tiếp hôm nayXSMN 88XSTDxs than taixổ số UY TIN NHẤTxs vietlott 88SOI CẦU SIÊU CHUẨNSoiCauVietlô đẹp hôm nay vipket qua so xo hom naykqxsmb 30 ngàydự đoán xổ số 3 miềnSoi cầu 3 càng chuẩn xácbạch thủ lônuoi lo chuanbắt lô chuẩn theo ngàykq xo-solô 3 càngnuôi lô đề siêu vipcầu Lô Xiên XSMBđề về bao nhiêuSoi cầu x3xổ số kiến thiết ngày hôm nayquay thử xsmttruc tiep kết quả sxmntrực tiếp miền bắckết quả xổ số chấm vnbảng xs đặc biệt năm 2023soi cau xsmbxổ số hà nội hôm naysxmtxsmt hôm nayxs truc tiep mbketqua xo so onlinekqxs onlinexo số hôm nayXS3MTin xs hôm nayxsmn thu2XSMN hom nayxổ số miền bắc trực tiếp hôm naySO XOxsmbsxmn hôm nay188betlink188 xo sosoi cầu vip 88lô tô việtsoi lô việtXS247xs ba miềnchốt lô đẹp nhất hôm naychốt số xsmbCHƠI LÔ TÔsoi cau mn hom naychốt lô chuẩndu doan sxmtdự đoán xổ số onlinerồng bạch kim chốt 3 càng miễn phí hôm naythống kê lô gan miền bắcdàn đề lôCầu Kèo Đặc Biệtchốt cầu may mắnkết quả xổ số miền bắc hômSoi cầu vàng 777thẻ bài onlinedu doan mn 888soi cầu miền nam vipsoi cầu mt vipdàn de hôm nay7 cao thủ chốt sốsoi cau mien phi 7777 cao thủ chốt số nức tiếng3 càng miền bắcrồng bạch kim 777dàn de bất bạion newsddxsmn188betw88w88789bettf88sin88suvipsunwintf88five8812betsv88vn88Top 10 nhà cái uy tínsky88iwinlucky88nhacaisin88oxbetm88vn88w88789betiwinf8betrio66rio66lucky88oxbetvn88188bet789betMay-88five88one88sin88bk88xbetoxbetMU88188BETSV88RIO66ONBET88188betM88M88SV88Jun-68Jun-88one88iwinv9betw388OXBETw388w388onbetonbetonbetonbet88onbet88onbet88onbet88onbetonbetonbetonbetqh88mu88Nhà cái uy tínpog79vp777vp777vipbetvipbetuk88uk88typhu88typhu88tk88tk88sm66sm66me88me888live8live8livesm66me88win798livesm66me88win79pog79pog79vp777vp777uk88uk88tk88tk88luck8luck8kingbet86kingbet86k188k188hr99hr99123b8xbetvnvipbetsv66zbettaisunwin-vntyphu88vn138vwinvwinvi68ee881xbetrio66zbetvn138i9betvipfi88clubcf68onbet88ee88typhu88onbetonbetkhuyenmai12bet-moblie12betmoblietaimienphi247vi68clupcf68clupvipbeti9betqh88onb123onbefsoi cầunổ hũbắn cáđá gàđá gàgame bàicasinosoi cầuxóc đĩagame bàigiải mã giấc mơbầu cuaslot gamecasinonổ hủdàn đềBắn cácasinodàn đềnổ hũtài xỉuslot gamecasinobắn cáđá gàgame bàithể thaogame bàisoi cầukqsssoi cầucờ tướngbắn cágame bàixóc đĩaAG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人爱游戏华体会华体会im体育kok体育开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育欧宝体育ob体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育开云体育开云体育棋牌棋牌沙巴体育买球平台新葡京娱乐开云体育mu88qh88

Leave a Reply