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No Chinese Military Base in Fiji

China denies military rumour, justifies aid to Fiji

  14:06 September 3, 2012

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China’s vice foreign minister Cui Tiankai on Rarotonga during the Post Forum Dialogue. Image: PMC

Pacific Scoop: Report – By Rachel Reeves on Rarotonga

Chinese vice foreign minister Cui Tiankai flatly denied rumours that China intends to establish a military base in Fiji.

Tiankai met with Cook Islands and New Zealand media at Edgewater on Thursday night.

In response to questions about whether China intends to step up its military presence in Fiji, Tiankai was clear that his government is “certainly not considering” sending its military into the Pacific.

2012 PIF logo“We are not interested in sending our military forces everywhere in the world. We have no interest in doing that,” he said.

He says his government has friendly relations with Fiji, but does not intend to interfere in the country’s domestic affairs, which are “up to the people of Fiji to decide”.

“What we are doing is to help the country, the people there, to achieve their development.”

From 2006, China’s aid to Fiji has jumped to over $100 million – over 150 times what it was before the coup.

When the Pacific Islands Forum started putting pressure on Fiji, urging it to return to democracy in 2008, the vice-president of China made a state visit to meet with Prime Minister Bainimarama.

Rachel Reeves is political reporter of the Cook Islands News.

Cook Islands News

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6 thoughts on “No Chinese Military Base in Fiji

  1. Journo’s comments rile Indian community

    By Venkat Raman29/08/2012 16:27:00

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    The comments made by popular journalist and media specialist Thakur Ranjit Singh have attracted widespread criticism from a large number of people from the extended Indian community in New Zealand and abroad.

    His original comments on Facebook were condemned as ‘outrageous, unwarranted and vicious’ by Members of Parliament and others (three of which appear separately in this section), while many community leaders and readers have said that Mr Singh had ‘condemned a Nation and its people.’

    Our editorial appearing under Viewlink reflects the opinions of a majority of our readers. The following contains the views from the community.

    The Waitakere Indian Association, of which Mr Singh is the Vice-President, distanced itself from his comments, saying that they did not represent either the views of the organisation or those of any of its executive committee members.

    Credibility questioned

    President Sunil Chandra told this newspaper that the Executive Committee at its emergency meeting held on August 13 decided to suspend him from the post of Vice-President, since “there are questions about his personal credibility and commitment to the advancement of the Indian community in New Zealand.”

    “All of us are proud of our Indian ancestry and the progress made by India since its independence on August 15, 1947. Our Committee was shocked by the comments made by Mr Singh. They are clearly unacceptable,” Mr Chandra said.

    Magsons Hardware Mitre 10 Mega Chairman & Managing Director and the Hindu Council of New Zealand President Vinod Kumar described Mr Singh as a ‘failed journalist.’

    “His remarks and comments are always without any base and research. Let alone that, his thoughts are of hatred. We as Hindu Council of New Zealand totally condemn his remarks on the Facebook,” he said.

    Muslim community leader Ahemad Bhamji said he wished to disassociate himself completely from the comments of Mr Singh.

    “I am disappointed that Thakur Ranjit Singh had chosen to write derogatory remarks about India and Indians. I am proud that my ancestors were from India and I want the future generations to have the same sentiments. I am sure that my disappointment with Mr Singh is shared by a majority of Indo-Fijians,” he said.

    Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust Chairman Jeet Suchdev said that he was “utterly disappointed” with such remarks.

    “I agree with all the respondents who condemned the senseless remarks about our Mother India. His knowledge of a great country is poor and his bad attitude towards the people of India is deplorable,” he said.

    Manukau Indian Association President Balu Mistry said that Mr Singh’s comments amounted to treachery.

    “I have known Thakur Ranjit Singh and I am surprised by his ‘rejection of being Indian’ and running away from India. Many people did not run away from India to Fiji, but were forced to being indentured labourers,” he said.

    Insensitive remarks

    V4U Entertainments Limited Director Viraf Todywalla said Mr Singh’s remarks against India and Indians were very disturbing.

    “Every country has its positive and negative factors and nobody has the right to highlight the negatives of any country or its people the way Mr Singh did, that too taking Independence Day as a subject. What kind of a person does that? It was also disturbing that he had a few like-minded people liking and praising his comments,” he said.

    Apurv Shukla, who is in the media, said that Mr Singh had expressed his own views and that no self-respecting person would agree with them.

    “But in a country where Freedom of Speech is a fundamental right and the press is considered the fourth pillar of democracy, there is room for everyone’s views. India has shown to the world that it is a truly secular country, where religion never came in the way of merit. Anna Hazare’s movement against corruption has brought that scourge to the forefront of public discourse,” he said.

    There were a few comments on the Facebook agreeing with Mr Singh.

    Read related comments in this section and our editorial under Viewpoint

  2. trs is a looser .we dont need this kind of idiot in fiji thats why he was sacked from daily post and scc.
    he also applied to stand in 2006 election ticket for flp .he was not considered at all by flp.
    trs is a puppet of the regime of bai/khaiyum.

  3. Clinton expands role in the Pacific

    September 2, 2012
    Daniel Flitton, Rarotonga

    US SECRETARY of State Hillary Clinton has announced an expanded role for the US Navy and renewed American engagement in the Pacific, while trying to reassure China that ”the Pacific is big enough for all of us”.

    In her much anticipated trip to the South Pacific, widely seen as an attempt to curb Beijing’s growing influence, she told the Pacific Islands Forum that the US considered the region strategically and economically vital ”and becoming more so”.

    Later, delivering a briefing on regional security, Mrs Clinton said a coastguard program to combat illegal fishing would be expanded to include the US Navy. ”This will allow countries to take advantage of US Navy ships that are already in the region or transiting through the region to get help in enforcing their own laws,” she said.

    ”Additionally, we are working with Australia, New Zealand and France to strengthen our Pacific maritime surveillance partnership.”
    She was flanked by the head of the US Pacific Command, Admiral Samuel Locklear.

    He said their joint appearance was unusual, and Mrs Clinton’s remarks reinforced the importance of the Pacific islands to the US.

    ”Five trillion dollars of commerce rides on the (Asia-Pacific) sea lanes each year, and you people are sitting right in the middle of it,” he said. ”We will enhance the US Navy and coastguard Ship Rider program so that we can more effectively combat the illegal activity and enforce conservation measures and build nation capacity to do the same.”

    Mrs Clinton said the benefits of expanded patrols were significant.

    ”I know there are those who see America’s renewed engagement in the Pacific perhaps as a hedge against particular countries,” she said. ”The Pacific is big enough for all of us.

    ”We all have important contributions and stakes in this region’s success, to advance your security, your opportunity and your prosperity.”

    With a Chinese vice-minister also at the talks that followed the 15-member Pacific Islands Forum this week in the Cook Islands, Mrs Clinton again made plain a desire to make this the ”America’s Pacific century”. She pointed to the hundreds of US warships, coastguard and fishing vessels sailing Pacific waters, $330 million annual support to island nations, and invoked the wartime sacrifice of American troops battling the Japanese.

    ”We have since then underwritten the security that has made it possible for the people of this region to trade and travel freely,” she said.

    ”We have consistently protected the Pacific sea lanes through which a great deal of the world’s commerce travels, and now we look to the Pacific nations in a spirit of partnership.”

    Forum officials refused to allow reporters to hear the contribution by China’s vice-minister, Cui Tiankai, to the talks, despite having been allowed to hear speeches from Canada and Japan. Earlier, Mr Cui said China did not seek to compete with any countries in the region. “We are here in this region not to seek any particular influence, still less dominance,” he said.

    ”We are here to work with the island countries to achieve sustainable development, because both China and the Pacific island countries belong to the ranks of developing countries.”

    Mrs Clinton’s appearance has been the talk of the Cook Islands in the recent weeks.

    Prime Minister Henry Puna said Mrs Clinton was the highest-ranking US participant in the regular post-forum talks.

    Read more: http://www.watoday.com.au/world/clinton-expands-us-role-in-pacific-20120901-2579l.html#ixzz25LSbTetV

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