Since it grabbed the media's attention, China's aid program in the Pacific has sparked a lively debate.
Why is a country which itself received $US 1.76 billion in aid in 2005 giving aid to the Pacific at all and on what scale?
China runs a secretive aid program that has fueled suspicions it is up to no good and which undermines efforts to improve accountability, governance and stability.
So how much aid is China giving, for what purposes and how can Australia ensure that China’s aid program in the Pacific complements rather than undercuts our own efforts?
Lowy Institute Policy Brief by Fergus Hanson, The Dragon in the Pacific: More Opportunity than Threat, addresses these questions by taking a fresh look at China's aid activities across the region- The Lowy Institute for International Policy
Allan Gyngell, the executive director of the Lowy Institute for International Policy, has a wide background in international policy making and analysis.
He has written and spoken extensively on Australian foreign policy, Asian regional relations, and the development of global and regional institutions.
After graduating in history and political science from Melbourne University, he served as an Australian diplomat in Rangoon, Singapore and Washington. He also spent a number of years with the Office of National Assessments, Australia's national intelligence analysis organisation, where he worked on southeast Asian issues and headed the branch dealing with great power relations at the end of the Cold War.
He was later first assistant secretary in the international division of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. From 1993 to 1996, he was foreign policy adviser in the office of the Australian Prime Minister, Paul Keating.
After leaving government in 1997, he worked as a consultant to a number of Australian companies. In 2003, he was appointed as the founding executive director of the Lowy Institute. He is a member of the Australian Government's Foreign Affairs Council.
The second edition of his book, Making Australian Foreign Policy, co-written with Professor Michael Wesley, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2007.
Fergus Hanson is a Research Associate at the Lowy Institute. His published masters' thesis focused on regional stability in the Pacific.
Previously, he worked for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and served at the Australian Embassy in The Hague.