China helped create political instability in Pacific islands: WikiLeaks

Last Updated: Monday, December 20, 2010 - 16:07

Wellington: Secret US diplomatic cables released by the whistleblower website WikiLeaks have revealed that New Zealand defence officials had warned the US that the Chinese Army was creating political instability in the Pacific islands.

According to, a cable from 2008 said that New Zealand was concerned about the future of the Pacific islands, ``which are increasingly turning away from Australia and New Zealand to seek ties with Taiwan, China, Cuba and others``.

A US briefing from February 2006 says New Zealand officials were concerned that competition between Taiwan and China for resources and diplomatic leaks “contributes to political instability in Pacific Island nations,`` the leaked cable said.

Further, a cable from September 2006 quoted Riddell, the American sports company, as saying that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) had spoken to Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei during the minister`s trip to Wellington earlier in the year about activities in the Pacific.

According to the International Policy Division director Paul Sinclair, the People`s Liberation Army (PLA) was providing aid defence forces in the region, especially Tonga and Fiji.

The PLA were outspending New Zealand by ``wide margins`` in Papua New Guinea, he added.

Pacific Island director Heather Riddell was also quoted as saying in the cable that China`s “rapacious quest`` for natural resources undermined “good governance, sustainable development and environment`` in Pacific Island states.

New Zealand aid officials had also travelled to Taiwan to deliver "a strong message" to Taiwanese officials in this regard, the report said.


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First Published: Monday, December 20, 2010 - 16:07

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