13 Jun 2008

China denies that its Pacific aid has a destabilising effect

1:33 pm on 13 June 2008

China has rejected claims that its aid program to Pacific nations was destabilising and aimed at stopping such countries from recognising its rival, Taiwan.

A report earlier this week from Australia's Lowy Institute said China's promised aid to Pacific nations increased to 293 US million dollars last year from 33 million US dollars in 2005.

It went on to say that China's secretive aid programme is undermining efforts to improve governance in the region.

But China's Foreign Ministry has told Reuters that the assistance is aimed at development and without ulterior motive.

An official says the aid must help the local economy to develop and promote people's livelihoods.

He says China would never interfere in the internal affairs of the countries it helps.

He also added that the report was totally pointless and unacceptable.

The official said the effect of its aid was to safeguard peace and development momentum.

Six Pacific nations officially recognise Taiwan.