3 Jul 2014

Economist tells region to bargain with China

7:59 pm on 3 July 2014

An economist specialising in China says Pacific Island countries should use their leverage when doing deals with companies from resource-hungry China.

The Director of the China Economy Programme at the Australian National University, Song Li Gang, says despite China's moves towards a new growth model, its demand for resources, especially energy and minerals, will continue to rise.

Under the new model, growth is to be based on market forces and environmental sustainability.

Professor Song says China has a global strategy to meet its needs which will benefit the region but it also has a development agenda.

He says countries should avoid the "resource curse" and make sure they have the right expertise, institutions and laws in place.

"So make the system more transparent, more accountable. Chinese companies need to accept that because they benefit from buying the resources so therefore they have to deal with that country. Try to be more consistent with the so-called national development goals of those countries."

Professor Song Li Gang of the Australian National University,