WEN: CHINA TO FORGIVE DEBTS OF PACIFIC ALLIES

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SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, April 5) - China plans to write off the debts of eight Pacific Island nations that it has diplomatic ties with.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiaobao revealed this during the inaugural China-Pacific Island Countries Economic Development and Cooperation Forum in Nadi, Fiji, today.

Beneficiaries include Fiji, Papua New Guinea, the Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu and the Federated States of Micronesia.

While welcoming the news, Foreign Minister Kaliopate Tavola said Fiji would not benefit much, as it does not have a debt with China.

But he said it showed China’s level of commitment to the region.

Meanwhile, Tavola also revealed that China approved a US$25 million loan to assist Government departments get Internet access.

He said the loan would be repaid over 20 years at a five percent interest rate. The loan has an initial five-year grace period.

April 6, 2006

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