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PacNet #10A – China Woos the South Pacific

China’s rising influence is beginning to extend into remote corners of Asia, including the islands of the South Pacific. In December 2005, Chinese Politburo member Luo Gan and his delegation made a two-day stopover in Tahiti while en route to South America  The visit came a day after the official announcement that China would open a consulate general and cultural center in Tahiti’s capital Papeete in 2006 as well as the Chinese government’s conferment of Approved Destination Status (ADS) for Chinese tourists to visit French Polynesia. These moves are symbolic of China’s efforts to increase its presence in the South Pacific.