11 Feb 2009

China strengthens ties with Fiji

7:50 pm on 11 February 2009

China has strengthened its ties with Fiji finalising agreements to fund Fiji developments worth millions of dollars.

During a brief stopover in Nadi this week China's Vice-President Xi Jinping was given a full military guard of honour and welcomed as a significant friend.

Fergus Hanson from Australian international policy think tank, the Lowy Institute, says China's aid to Fiji has skyrocketed since the 2007 coup.

He says China will expect strict adherence to the one-China policy in return for the timely agreement.

"When you look at Chinese pledges they usually take a while to be dispersed so a long delay was on the table especially with such a large amount but it's certainly an opportune time for Fiji and the interim government to get its hands on a bit of cash when there's so much need in Fiji."

Fergus Hanson says China's support of Fiji's interim government is contrary to its policy of not interfering with the domestic polictics of other countries.