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NUS Ocean Campus construction site Samoa
National University of Samoa Maritime Training Centre, one of the three projects funded under the China Grant Aid Project (Photo supplied)


Traditional external powers in the Pacific Islands are focusing more on China's increased engagement in the region.

Some have been surprised by China's burgeoning direct investment in the Pacific, its rapid surge as an aid donor and the growing dominance of Chinese in retail sectors across the islands.

Radio NZ International's Johnny Blades looks at what's driving China's foray into the Pacific and what it means for the people of the region, New Zealand, Australia and others with long term connections in this part of the world.

(Additional production by Sally Round)