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Fiji, China Relations Stronger

Relations between Fiji and China deepened after bilateral talks in New York yesterday. The Foreign Ministers of China and Fiji held a bilateral meeting at the United Nations Headquarters. Chinese
29 Sep 2014 11:32
Fiji, China  Relations  Stronger
Holy Trinity Anglican Primary School under-13 and 14 players with Fiji Airways Fijian 7s coach Gareth Baber at Albert Park, Suva on June 18, 2019. Photo: Supplied by Luke Ramasima

Relations between Fiji and China deepened after bilateral talks in New York yesterday. The Foreign Ministers of China and Fiji held a bilateral meeting at the United Nations Headquarters. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi congratulated Fiji on the successful conclusion of national elections and the formation of the new Government. Fijian Foreign Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola thanked China for its steadfast support in recent years and for its financial assistance towards the holding of the elections. The ministers spent half an hour thoroughly reviewing the steady progress of development co-operation between China and Fiji. Both ministers expressed satisfaction at the deepening of bilateral relations between their two countries since the 2006 takeover, when traditional allies deserted Fiji. Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs deputy director general Deng Hongbo stated then : “We have always respected Fiji’s status as an independent nation and we have called on the other countries to do the same and reconsider their attitudes towards Fiji and the current situation in the country.” An outcome of Fiji’s “Look North” policy,  was the setting up of a China/Fiji Trade and Economic Commission to enhance economic relations between the two countries. In August 2008, while on a visit to China, Commodore Bainimarama spoke of the “very close and cordial relations that our two countries share in our trade, cultural and sporting linkages”. He said: “Fiji will not forget that when other countries were quick to condemn us following the events of 1987, 2000 and 2006, China and other friends in Asia demonstrated a more understanding and sensitive approach to events in Fiji. The Government of the People’s Republic of China expressed confidence in our ability to resolve our problems in our way, without undue pressure of interference.” In February 2009, at a time when Fiji was facing pressure from the Pacific Islands Forum over its apparent lack of progress towards a restoration of democracy, Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping paid a state visit to Fiji and met Prime Minister Bainimarama. On that occasion, Xi stated that he wished to “further enhance [Sino-Fiji] exchanges and co-operation in such fields as culture, education, public health and tourism”. Since then China has pledged millions of  dollars to help the country in a number of areas including education, police and the military. Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

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