15 Sep 2005

China offers poor Pacific nations debt-relief, free trade deals and cheap loans

1:12 pm on 15 September 2005

China says it's offering its Pacific Island allies free trade deals, debt relief and cheap loans.

The Chinese President, Hu Jintao, has told the United Nations summit in New York that his country wants to give greater assistance to the world's poorest nations.

Samoa and Vanuatu would stand to gain from reduced or cancelled debt, increased aid, and interest-free loans.

Solomon Islands, Kiribati and Tuvalu would be excluded because of their diplomatic ties with Taiwan.

China and Taiwan have long used aid in their competition for diplomatic recognition.