China's Xi promises support to Papua New Guinea amid regional tension

China's Xi promises support to Papua New Guinea amid regional tensionThe visit, ahead of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit Xi will address on Saturday, comes amid heightened trade and diplomatic tension in a region that was until recently an almost exclusive sphere of influence of staunch U.S. ally Australia. APEC was established almost 30 years ago to remove barriers to trade in an area home to numerous tiny island economies reliant on third party aid and loans. China, which is stepping up its presence in the region, has recently faced criticism from some PNG officials for its lavish gifts, given at the potential expense of aid and development.



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