China denies military rumour, justifies aid to Fiji


Pacific Scoop PIF Coverage
China denies military rumour, justifies aid to Fiji
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China’s vice foreign minister Cui Tiankai on Rarotonga during the Post Forum Dialogue. Image: PMC

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Rachel Reeves on Rarotonga

Chinese vice foreign minister Cui Tiankai flatly denied rumours that China intends to establish a military base in Fiji.

Tiankai met with Cook Islands and New Zealand media at Edgewater on Thursday night.

In response to questions about whether China intends to step up its military presence in Fiji, Tiankai was clear that his government is “certainly not considering” sending its military into the Pacific.

2012 PIF logo“We are not interested in sending our military forces everywhere in the world. We have no interest in doing that,” he said.

He says his government has friendly relations with Fiji, but does not intend to interfere in the country’s domestic affairs, which are “up to the people of Fiji to decide”.

“What we are doing is to help the country, the people there, to achieve their development.”

From 2006, China’s aid to Fiji has jumped to over $100 million – over 150 times what it was before the coup.

When the Pacific Islands Forum started putting pressure on Fiji, urging it to return to democracy in 2008, the vice-president of China made a state visit to meet with Prime Minister Bainimarama.

Rachel Reeves is political reporter of the Cook Islands News.

Cook Islands News

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