Dragon versus Elephant: a comparative study of Chinese and Indian aid in the Pacific
The growing scale of development assistance programs of China and India has attracted increased global attention. Research on their aid to the Pacific Island Countries, however, is largely missing. Whether their aid programs in the Pacific region are similar or significantly different—in terms of aim and scope—deserves investigation. Also, current literature on Chinese and Indian trilateral cooperation—a relatively new aid modality—is almost non-existent. Based on archival analysis and the authors’ interviews in China, India and across the region over 2014–2016, this article provides a comparative analysis of Chinese and Indian aid to the Pacific island countries. It argues that Chinese and Indian aid in the Pacific are heterogeneous in a number of ways. In addition, China has been actively piloting trilateral cooperation in the Pacific, while no such projects have taken place from India who has only begun looking more closely at the region.
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