5 Feb 2013

Tahiti's Temaru denies China's decolonisation support

2:30 pm on 5 February 2013

The French Polynesian president, Oscar Temaru, says his comments about the struggle for influence in the Pacific between the US and China and his government's decolonisation bid have been misunderstood.

Mr Temaru has issued a statement, saying his notion that a majority of UN members will support French Polynesia's re-inscription on the decolonisation list has led to the erroneous conclusion that China is backing a possible resolution.

He adds that while he didn't say that, he still wishes he will get China's support.

Mr Temaru says contrary to the patently racist and anti-Chinese comments by his rivals, China is already a key partner for Maohi Nui, which is his preferred name for French Polyensia.

Asked on local television which country backed his decolonisation bid, Mr Temaru declined to answer, but said there have been talks with many countries, naming Russia, Argentina and Venezuela.