The clown-show that is the Pacific Islands Forum came to a fitting conclusion yesterday, with a rogues’ gallery of banana republics lining up with their hands out. But, in their greed for foreign handouts, Pacific nations seem dangerously blind to the wolf that they’re inviting into their complacent sheep-fold.

From the earliest days of the Maoist takeover, China has assiduously sought to buy influence in what was then called the “Third World”. For much of the 20th century, Beijing had little more to offer than anti-Imperialist rhetoric. But these days, thanks to Deng Xiaping’s reforms, the communists are awash with cash – and they’re not sparing a single yuan in buying up influence from the greedy and gullible.

China has told Pacific nations it recognises the “legitimate demands” of small island states for tackling climate change, and called on developed countries to “earnestly carry out their obligations” under the Paris agreement.

Well, he would say that now wouldn’t he? The Paris agreement is the absurd fiction that punishing America and the West, bleeding them white of energy and cash while allowing China to merrily belch out as much carbon dioxide as it pleases is somehow “saving the planet”. China is playing the green-left elite of Europe, not to mention camp-followers like Jacinda Ardern, for utter fools.

China’s Special Envoy to the Pacific, Ambassador Wang Xuefeng, told the Pacific Island Forum in Tuvalu today that “no matter how the international situation evolves, China will always be a good friend, partner and brother of Pacific Island countries”.

“China believes that all countries, big or small, are equals,” he said.

Yeah, right. Just ask Taiwan, Tibet or Vietnam.

But the blatant baloney didn’t end there.

Mr Wang talked up his own country’s efforts to tackle reduce its emissions.

Mr Wang told PIF members that China backed “equitable global climate governance regime”…“China firmly upholds the principles and framework of the Convention, and remains committed to the principles of equity, “common but differentiated responsibilities”, and respective capabilities.”

Just a little reminder of the reality behind Beijing’s two-faced rhetoric:

China has 981,000MW of installed coal generation capacity, compared to Australia’s 25,150MW.

But China wasn’t the only participant doling out shovel-loads of self-serving horse-pucky.

Tuvalu Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga said …the marathon session, which dragged well into the night, was at times emotional.

“The Prime Minister of Tonga actually cried during the retreat,” he said.

But that was only because the buffet closed early.

Economist Judith Sloan didn’t hesitate in calling the PIF for what it really is.

Let’s face it, it’s just a dressed-up cash grab on the part of these leaders…to be lectured by some jumped-up leaders from the Pacific Islands that we should close down our coal industry — with the darling of the left, Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s PM, chiming in — is both to underscore their ignorance and demonstrate their extreme naivety.

Australia is handing out half a billion dollars of gibsmedat. How do the Cargo Cultists of the Pacific think we can afford this largesse?

With coal our largest export earner, the closure of this industry would seriously undermine our capacity to provide funds to our neighbours in the Pacific.

They could always demonstrate their commitment to their principles by refusing to take coal-funded cash.