THE NA­TION

The Advertiser - - NEWS - DAVID SPEERS

NIUE is a tiny Pa­cific na­tion with a pop­u­la­tion of only 1600.

That’s roughly the size of a large Aus­tralian high school. The peo­ple of Niue are of­fi­cially cit­i­zens of New Zealand. They use New Zealand’s cur­rency and travel on Kiwi pass­ports. But Niue isn’t tech­ni­cally part of New Zealand and it’s now flirt­ing with China. Niue re­cently signed a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing to join China’s One Belt, One Road ini­tia­tive. As with the MOU Vic­to­rian Pre­mier Daniel An­drews has signed, lit­tle is known about the deal.

Lo­cal re­ports sug­gest China has of­fered to spend nearly $15 mil­lion to up­grade an ex­press­way around the is­land and ren­o­vate a num­ber of wharves. In re­turn, China is set to build a GPS base sta­tion on Niue, for civil­ian and mil­i­tary use.

Plainly the 1600 or so lo­cals are happy to take the money. Ac­cord­ing to New Zealand news site stuff.co.nz, China’s Am­bas­sador Wu Xi at­tended a Con­sti­tu­tion Day cel­e­bra­tion on Niue a cou­ple of weeks ago and cooked dump-

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