News | International
25 Apr 2019 18:09
NZCity News
NZCity CalculatorReturn to NZCity

  • Start Page
  • Personalise
  • Sport
  • Weather
  • Finance
  • Shopping
  • Jobs
  • Horoscopes
  • Lotto Results
  • Photo Gallery
  • Site Gallery
  • TVNow
  • Dating
  • SearchNZ
  • NZSearch
  • RugbyLeague
  • Make Home
  • About NZCity
  • Contact NZCity
  • Your Privacy
  • Advertising
  • Login
  • Join for Free

  •   Home > News > International

    Syndicate spending $414m on Chinatown in Port Moresby as battle for PNG influence escalates

    PNG politicians are shrugging off concerns about Beijing's rising influence in the Pacific, as Chinese investors plan to spend $400m on a brand new Chinatown development for Port Moresby.

    A Chinese syndicate will spend more than $400 million building a Chinatown in Port Moresby, but Papua New Guinean politicians have dismissed concerns that Beijing is trying to expand its influence in the Pacific.

    A prominent Papua New Guinean politician told the ABC that China's increased involvement in the region is a concern for Australia and the United States, not PNG.

    The first sod has been turned on what will be the biggest private Chinese investment in the country — a Chinatown which will include apartments, shops, restaurants a cinema and a hotel.

    Some of the country's top politicians joined the Chinese ambassador and the developer for a ceremony to mark the occasion and were treated to performances of a traditional PNG "sing-sing" and a Chinese lion dance.

    PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill told the gathering that the development was worth almost a billion kina, or $414 million.

    "I know the [Chinese] state-owned enterprises have started investing in some of our resources projects and other major projects in the country, but for private investment, this is by far the largest," he said.

    This latest big project comes at a time when Chinese interest and investment in the Pacific is under a spotlight.

    But PNG's Lands Minister, Justin Tkatchenko, who also attended the sod-turning ceremony, said he welcomed Chinese investment in the country.

    "I don't have any concerns at all about the increasing influence of China into Papua New Guinea, as long as it benefits our people and our country and it's of mutual benefit," he said.

    However, he conceded he did not know much about Baosen International Holding, the company behind the Chinatown development.

    "I think they've gone through the proper due diligence through the city hall and through the appropriate agencies that have cleared everything," he said.

    Lin Sen Junior from Baosen International Holding insisted that the Chinese Government was not involved in the project.

    "We are just businessmen," he said.

    "We come here; we're not related to the Chinese Government. We think it's better to create a better community and better infrastructure here — that's the main purpose [of what] we're doing here."

    After initial delays caused by difficulties in trying to transfer large sums of money from China, the project is now going ahead with the support of PNG-based Chinese businesses.

    "I think everyone knows about the policies — that money is really hard to get from China to anywhere in the world," Mr Lin said.

    "But because of a lot of local Chinese here, we all got together and raised money altogether — so everyone contributed.

    "So we all got together to make a group, so we don't need to transfer the money."

    'America and Europe are talking nonsense'

    Port Moresby Governor Powes Parkop has also dismissed concerns about Chinese influence.

    "That's mainly a concern of Australia and the US, it's not [overly] a PNG concern," he said.

    "When I look at the world, I look at America and Europe — they are talking about nonsense. They are talking about a wall, they're talking about Brexit; in the meantime, China is going to the moon."

    He said China was a logical place for PNG to align to.

    "At the moment the Chinese are investing, it's not that we are bending over and saying just come and do whatever you want; we're going through the process," he said.

    Mr Parkop said all countries tried to exert political influence, including the US and Australia, who announced plans for a naval base on Manus Island last year.

    "For me, I'm particularly concerned about the US and Australian influence on us because, for example, the naval facility in Manus, I don't think that's in PNG's interest," he said.

    "I think that's in their interest. If it was in PNG's interest and win-win, they should have done it a long time ago."

    He claimed he raised the idea of redeveloping the base with Australia back in 2014.

    "Why now? The only reason now is because of China. So, is it really in our interest?" Mr Parkop said.

    PM heads to China as countries grow closer

    The launch of the Chinatown development was also used to tout the close bilateral relationship between the two countries.

    Mr O'Neill will travel to China next week to represent the Pacific at a forum on the controversial Belt and Road Initiative infrastructure program.

    The Chinese ambassador to PNG, Xue Bing, wished him well on his trip to Beijing and commended the strengthening relationship.

    "In 2018, through the joint efforts of both sides, the bilateral trade volume between China and PNG reached [$5.06 billion], a 27 per cent increase over the same period of last year," Mr Xue said in his speech.

    "China's direct investment in PNG reached [$5.06 billion], also a big increase."

    Mr Xue said there were now 20,000 Chinese nationals living and working in PNG and the availability of Chinese restaurants and products meant "you feel that you are still inside China".

    PNG is broadening its horizons beyond Australia, according to Michael Shoebridge, the Director of Defence and Strategy at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

    "I think PNG is sensibly thinking about their own interest, but some of the implications of Chinese investment need to be considered," Mr Shoebridge said.

    He said Chinese activities were driven by the goals of the Communist Party, such as pushing the diplomatic isolation of Taiwan and gathering support for international forums like the United Nations.

    "If you think the South Pacific isn't part of China's global ambition for power, then you're making a mistake," he said.


    © 2019 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved

     Other International News
     25 Apr: Pregnant wife of Sri Lanka bomber detonates suicide vest, killing children and police
     25 Apr: Charity Tillemann-Dick, opera singer who underwent two double lung transplants, dies aged 35
     25 Apr: The leaders of Britain and Ireland have joined hundreds of mourners at the funeral of journalist Lyra (leerer) McKee, who was killed by an Irish nationalist militant during a riot
     25 Apr: As Donald Trump teed off at critics, Joe Hockey grabbed his clubs and headed to Mar-a-Lago
     25 Apr: New Zealanders are among those allegedly targeted by a foiled Anzac attack at Gallipoli
     25 Apr: Bali bombing blast site to be developed into five-storey commercial complex, outraging survivors
     25 Apr: Protests erupt in Solomon Islands as Manasseh Sogavare elected Prime Minister for fourth time
     Top Stories

    Hockeyroos captain Georgie Morgan believes there will need to be changes to hockey's new FIH pro league going forward More...

    The Wellington Phoenix are trying to keep things business as usual ahead of this weekend's A-League match against the Perth Glory More...

     Today's News

    Rugby League:
    The Warriors are determined to hold off becoming early victims of the Storm tonight 18:07

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have shared three new pictures of their son Prince Louis to mark his first birthday (23.04.19) 17:44

    The Wellington Phoenix are trying to keep things business as usual ahead of this weekend's A-League match against the Perth Glory 17:27

    George Clooney is planning to return to Ireland after spending Easter weekend with his Irish relatives 17:14

    Experts / say we shouldn't expect the cost of coffee to fall anytime soon, despite the price of coffee beans plunging to its lowest level in a decade! 16:57

    Halsey has injured her back and finger rock climbing "naked" 16:44

    Rugby League:
    Warriors coach Stephen Kearney's taken a moment to reflect on his side's nightmare 12 months ago 16:17

    Scarlett Johansson "didn't like" the person she shared her "gross" first kiss with 16:14

    The Wellington Phoenix will have to contend with an anxious flight across the ditch as they await their A-League playoff fate 16:07

    Roseanne Barr claims she is "queer as two motherf***ers" 15:44

     News Search

    Power Search

    © 2019 New Zealand City Ltd