Fiji Prime Minister Seeks Chinese Assistance For COP 23 Presidency

Bainimarama attends Belt and Road Forum in Beijing

By Tevita Vuibau

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, May 18, 2017) – Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has sought Chinese assistance for Fiji's COP 23 Presidency in separate meetings with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and President Xi Jinping in Beijing.

Mr Bainimarama is in China to attend the Belt and Road Forum.

The Belt and Road Initiative is a foreign policy of China's that will see the country underwrite billions of dollars of infrastructure development along the ancient silk road to Europe.

Mr Bainimarama was the only Pacific leader at the forum which was attended by representatives from more than 100 countries and organisations.

[PIR editor's note: On May 18, 2017 RNZI reported that 'Fiji has closed its representative office in Taiwan. ... Taiwanese media quote Fiji's representative Karai Vuibau as saying the closure follows a review of Fiji's embassies and missions worldwide.']

His meetings with the pair centred around the defence and implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

"President Xi has publicly committed to protect the global governance achievements contained within the Paris Agreement to curb the effects of climate change," the Ministry of Information said in a statement yesterday.

"During the meeting, Prime Minister Bainimarama thanked President Xi for his strong defence of the multilateral consensus achieved in Paris at COP 21, given that the Trump administration has yet to make a decision on whether the United States will remain in the Paris Agreement.

"At both meetings, Prime Minister Bainimarama sought Chinese assistance for Fiji's COP 23 Presidency and stressed the urgency of maintaining the momentum for making decisive cuts in global carbon emissions to reduce the impacts of climate change."

It is understood that prior to the bilateral meetings, Mr Bainimarama signed several memorandum of understanding between Fiji and China to deepen economic co-operation between the two countries.

Mr Bainiamrama is expected to travel to Bonn in Germany after the forum to address a a plenary session on the final day of the Bonn Climate Change Conference and attend a Negotiation Management Workshop organised by the German Government.

He will then travel to Berlin, Germany to attend the Petersburg Climate Dialogue.

Fiji Times Online.
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