BAINIMARAMA REAFFIRMS FIJI’S LOYALTY TO CHINA

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BAINIMARAMA REAFFIRMS FIJI’S LOYALTY TO CHINA China demonstrated ‘sensitive’ approach to Fiji coups

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Aug. 12, 2008) - Fiji’s interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama has rallied support for the One China policy. He’s also reaffirmed Fiji’s look North policy with one of the world’s fastest-growing economic powers.

Bainimarama’s remarks came while opening Fiji night celebrations in Beijing.

"Fiji will not forget that when other countries were quick to condemn us following the events of 1987, 2000 and in 2006, China and other friends in Asia demonstrated a more understanding and sensitive approach to events in Fiji," he said. "The Government of the Peoples’ Republic of China expressed confidence in our ability to resolve our problems in our way, without undue pressure or interference.

"The Chinese Government even went further to provide much-needed development assistance in crucial areas of development. Our national sports complex is a tangible example.

"Fiji, on its part, will continue its "Look North Policy" to strengthen our relations with Asia in general and China, in particular, as we look for new markets to help us meet our trade and investment aspirations."

Pacific leaders, including Bainimarama, met China’s Premier Wen Jiabao.

Wen also had talks with the Tongan prime minister and chair of the Pacific Island Forum, Dr. Feleti Sevele, and Vanuatu Prime Minister Ham Lini to discuss matters of bilateral interest.

The Fiji delegation will travel to Southern China to visit an ethanol plant and inspect low-cost housing models prepared by Chinese companies that are interested in developing something similar in Fiji.

As relations with neighboring Australia and New Zealand on the wane, Fiji is looking to China and India in terms of trade and assistance.

Chinese nationals currently do not require a visa to enter Fiji.

This step, according to Bainimarama, was taken to get more tourists from China to visit Fiji.

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