The Chinese government does not attach any political strings to its cooperation with Fiji.
In response to question by FBC News, a Chinese Embassy spokesperson in Fiji, said that China has always upheld sincerity and good faith in its friendly relations with Fiji.
The embassy cited the provision of tangible benefits, including roads, bridges, jetties, solar power systems, and advanced technology, as evidence of its commitment to the partnership.
Media reports overseas claim Fiji and China are in a diplomatic dispute over the cancelled meeting between China’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ma Zhaoxu, and Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka recently.
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.
Claims were also made that Ma Zhaoxu, had refused to meet with Deputy Prime Minister, Manoa Kamikamica.
The embassy clarifies that Minister Zhaoxu did meet with Kamikamica and respected the arranged meeting.
Fiji’s growing alignment with traditional partners on security matters has raised concerns about China’s influence in the region.
However, the embassy spokesperson emphasised that Fiji is an important part of South-South cooperation and a partner in building a community with a shared future.
Meanwhile, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Siromi Turaga received a courtesy visit from the Ambassador of China to Fiji, Wednesday.
The meeting was an opportunity for the two to discuss matters of interest for both the countries, and this included maintaining healthy diplomatic relations, economic cooperation, and friendship between China and Fiji.
Ambassador Jian also reaffirmed China’s commitment in assisting Fiji in the areas of agriculture, climate change response, education, exportation of Fiji’s products, trade, and infrastructure and development.
As the Minister for Justice, the A-G also informed Ambassador Jian of the progressive plans intended for the Fiji Corrections Service under his portfolio.
This included the infrastructural development of corrections officers’ housing, staff welfare and improving the resources provided by the FCS to the inmates under the organisation’s care.
Ambassador Jian assured the Attorney-General of China’s interest of collaboration in this area of interest.
SOURCE: FBC NEWS/PACNEWS