SYDNEY (Reuters) – China’s is using “pay-day loan diplomacy” to exert influence in the Pacific, the new U.S. ambassador to Australia said on Wednesday, comments that threaten to inflame regional tensions.
The United States and its regional allies have been battling China for greater influence in the Pacific – a region that has votes at international forums like the United Nations and controls vast swathes of a resource-rich ocean.
Competition - Sides - Aid - Region - Months
The geopolitical competition has seen both sides increase foreign aid to the region in recent months, which the West says is needed to prevent the Pacific falling into financial distress and becoming susceptible to diplomatic pressure from Beijing.
Late last year U.S. Vice President Mike Pence accused China of ensnaring tiny island nations in foreign aid “debt traps”.
New - US - Ambassador - Australia - Arthur
New U.S. Ambassador to Australia Arthur Culvahouse said Pence’s criticism was not strong enough. “I would use stronger language – I would use payday loan diplomacy,” Culvahouse told reporters in Canberra after presenting his diplomatic credentials to Australia’s Governor-General.
“The money looks attractive...
Wake Up To Breaking News!