In 2017, China offered to build Papua New Guinea (PNG), the tallest building in the country. But now, the tower—touted at the time as a symbol of ‘friendship between the two nations’—sits empty.


  • The building, known as the Noble Centre, was built by a Chinese state-owned enterprise.
  • The 23-storey tower has been deemed uninhabitable after discovering more than 70 defects, which regulators say threaten people's safety.
  • People are beginning to question the quality and benefit of some Chinese aid and investment.
  • PNG is at the centre of a geopolitical contest for influence between nations, including China, the US and Australia.
  • With multiple countries seeking influence in PNG, some experts say there needs to be more oversight over the kind of investment and aid PNG accepts.


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