New Zealand boosts Pacific aid as China’s influence grows
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand is significantly boosting the amount of aid money it spends in the Pacific as international concern rises about China’s growing influence in the region.
Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced Tuesday that it would spend an extra 714 million New Zealand dollars ($500 million) over four years in international aid, with most of it directed at the Pacific.
He said the so-called “Pacific reset” would make New Zealand safer and more prosperous.
Peters did not specifically mention China in his speech, although he did say the Pacific region had become an increasingly contested strategic space and that New Zealand had its eyes “wide open” to such trends.
New Zealand is typically careful not to offend China, which provides a vital market for its milk and agricultural exports.
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