Fiji’s Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka has affirmed that the government will only cooperate with countries that share similar values and governance with Fiji.
In a recent interview with FBC News, Rabuka clarified that Fiji is not seeking to distance itself from China and that their relationship is still based on the One China Policy.
The comments came after a diplomatic dispute over the cancelled meeting between China’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ma Zhaoxu, and Prime Minister Rabuka.
Rabuka explained that the meeting was cancelled due to his illness and his doctor’s orders to rest but Fiji is not trying to remove China as a diplomatic partner.
“Not getaway. We would like to work with those that we have the same values in governance with but we reiterate our relationship with China is based on One China policy, we have normal diplomatic relationship with China. That stays and that remains and that is how we have conducted our international relations since 1973.”
While Fiji has a policy of being friendly to all and enemies to none, Rabuka acknowledged that he had terminated the Police Force’s security collaboration with China.
“Yes, I said we would review that and see how it came into being particularly when we look at the trends of international crime, we need to be very sure that those who are cooperating with us have our same values and views in international crimes.”
Reports in international media suggest that Fiji’s rejection of China as a security partner disrupts China’s growing role as a security stakeholder in the Pacific. It also challenges China’s approach to security assistance, including raising questions about China’s credibility as a security partner and presenting an obstacle to China’s pursuit of a multilateral security pact.
“Friends to all and enemies to none is still there and we are not enemies to anybody but others may call us enemies as far as we are concerned, they are not our enemies,” said Rabuka.
According to the reports, China’s Minister Ma Zhaoxu’s intended message was to caution Rabuka to tread carefully on Taiwan.
Meanwhile, FBC News has also reached out to the Chinese Embassy and they are yet to respond to queries.
SOURCE: FBC NEWS/PACNEWS