The new US ambassador to Australia says he's concerned about the way China lends money to developing Pacific nations in what he describes as "payday loan diplomacy."
Arthur Culvahouse Jr. told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday that it was up to U.S. allies and Western liberal democracies to educate people about the dangers of such loans.
US Vice President Mike Pence previously warned of China deploying "debt traps" against developing Pacific nations. Culvahouse says he would use stronger language by calling the practice payday loan diplomacy.
Culvahouse says the money looks attractive upfront "but you better read the fine print." Long affiliated with Republican officeholders, Culvahouse oversaw the vetting process for President Donald Trump's running mate in 2016.
Before Culvahouse arrived, the ambassador post had been vacant since 2016.
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