China: the real reason Australia’s pumping cash into the Pacific?

When the leaders of Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands this month signed off on a deal to link the three countries via an undersea internet cable, Canberra positioned itself as a thoughtful neighbour, eager to help developing nations in its own backyard. “We spend billions of dollars a year on foreign aid and this is a very practical way of investing in the future economic growth of our neighbours in the Pacific,” said Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull,…