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Researchers say that China has provided South Pacific countries with financial assistance worth more than $1 billion in ten years. The Lowy Institute for International Policy based in Sydney, Australia did the study. It is the first comprehensive, or complete, study of China’s growing aid program for the South Pacific. The report says China is likely to become the area’s third-biggest donor after Australia and the United States. The Institute says the aid seems mostly to be a good action by a responsible global, or world, citizen. It also says the financial assistance might be a way to ease tensions. Researchers say tensions are caused by a growth in new Chinese companies and Chinese migrants to South Pacific islands. Chinese fishing and mining operations are causing special concern among island communities. The largest Chinese investment project in the region is the $1.6 billion Ramu Nickel mine in Papua New Guinea. There is a dispute over its effect on the environment. But China hopes to present a more positive image as a major aid donor. The Lowy Institute study examined information from 500 sources including budgets, business documents and government statements. It is the first major study on the subject. Since 2006, China has provided $1.4 billion in foreign aid to the South Pacific region. China has diplomatic relations with eight South Pacific island nations. Australia remains the largest donor, providing almost $7 billion over the last ten years.