25 Jul 2011

Vanuatu leaders embarrassed by minister's demands on China

1:57 pm on 25 July 2011

Many Vanuatu leaders are said to be embarrassed at the demands made by the government's Foreign Affairs minister on China.

Alfred Carlot sent a letter to his counterpart in Beijing demanding that the Chinese government meet Vanuatu's 32 million US dollar budget shortfall.

Our correspondent says Mr Carlot is planning on visiting Taiwan to look at establishing relations if Beijing doesn't come through with the money.

Len Garae says many people in Vanuatu believe China has been generous to the nation over the years.

"The Chinese Government has funded and built the parliament house of Vanuatu, the law faculty of the University of the South Pacific, the ministry of Foreign Affairs, and well as the Melanesian Spearhead Secretariat building plus other projects. Beijing has been generous in the eyes of the Vanuatu people as well as the Vanuatu government."

Len Garae says Vanuatu signed the One China Policy when the country fist became independent three decades ago.