Jun 17, 2018 Last Updated 6:23 AM, Jun 15, 2018

FUNAFUTI, Tuvalu -- The government of Tuvalu has rejected findings of a research conducted by scientists at the Auckland University that says the tiny island nation may not be sinking due to the impact of climate change. Enele Sopoaga has called on scientists and the media to exercise care when conducting research of atoll islands such as Tuvalu which he is Prime Minister of, so as not to confuse the public.

Speaking at press conference he called in Suva, Fiji last month, PM Sogopaga said Tuvaluan as well as Pacific scientists whom he did not name believed the research ‘had holes.’ “The important thing is to have the scientific reports properly clarified by credible scientific communities,” the PM said. “The scientists working with us are very stunned by the manner in which this report was done and was released and the media was able to pick it up and put it out without verification.”

Funded by the Auckland University, the New Zealand study largely based on 40 years’ worth of imagery of the Tuvaluan shoreline concluded amongst other things that the country’s habitable land mass had expanded.

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Beijing, CHINA - China has lashed out at Australia’s criticism of its foreign aid to the Pacific while Pacific Island countries have spoken in China’s defensestating the country has heavily assisted the Pacific region. Speaking to journalists in Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman, Lu Kang said Australia’s accusations against China was borne out of Canberra’s reluctance to see the Pacific Islands realise independent and sustainable development.

“On the basis of fully respecting the will of the governments and people of the Pacific Islands countries and their development needs, China has been assisting them within its capabilities with no political strings attached in particular and such assistance has greatly boosted their socio-economic development and received warm welcome,” said Kang.

Late last year, Australia’s Minister for International Development and the Pacific Concetta Fierravanti-Wells told The Australian newspaper that China was constructing “useless buildings” in the Pacific. She told the ABC’s Pacific Beat programme she was concerned that some Pacific countries were taking on debts they could not afford to repay. 

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