The sinister reason China is so interested in the South Pacific

A new investigation has unearthed how China is buying control in the South Pacific.

Vanuatu, Kiribati and the Solomon Islands were all targets of China's influence, according to the investigation conducted by Australia's 60 Minutes.

This could signal trouble for New Zealand and Australia according to the former intelligence chief of the US Navy.

"[China] is interested in this area because it's essentially the lifeline or the choke point between America and Australia and New Zealand," Captain Jim Fanell told 60 Minutes.

"They believe that they're supposed to be the rightful leaders of this new global order," he continued.

"The British century, the American century, now we're going to have the Chinese century. That's their vision."

The Solomon Islands and Kiribati have become the most recent to switch their allegiance to the communist nation, reports

In September, Manasseh Sogavare the Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands announced the country would switch it's allegiance from Taiwan to China. 

The premier of the Solomon's largest island, Malaita, revealed to 60 Minutes Australia that he was offered $1 million to change Malaita's allegiance.

He believes there are "a lot of corrupt politicians" in his government.

China has also used companies with close ties to Beijing to try and take out a 75-year-lease on the Solomon Island of Tulagi.

The Solomon Islands
The Solomon Islands Photo credit: Google Maps

This would give China the rights to deepwater ports, oil, gas, fishing, forestry and tourism, reports

The lease document was signed by Tulagi's provincial leader - China nearly had control of the island until the document became public and it was ruled unlawful.

While Tulagi was not bought, China recently struck a multi-million dollar deal to redevelop the Solomon Islands' Gold Ridge Mine.

Along with the mines profits, all roads, rails and bridges built to service it will be controlled by China.