Australia alarmed over China involvement in Fiji

Yesterday the ABC Radio Pacific and NZ International Dateline news ran a piece calling the current administration as Interim Government. I thought with the abrogation of the Constitution that label went with it too.

Another piece talked about the Australian parliament discussing the concern of China’s level of involvement in Fiji and called for more responsible Development Assistance to Fiji. There was alarm that Fiji was getting greater assistance and had expert opinion to provide an analysis of this involvement.

And then we had a piece about the the leader of opposition (Aust) being censured for attempting to bring the PM Rudd to a judicial review for collusion with an auto dealer based on a fake email.

Another piece had GEL eloquently criticising the registration of lawyers and dismissively stating that he would sell his Partnership shares with Howards and look for something better to do as the current judiciary in Fiji was Debased not worth his intellectual enjoyment.

And in the face of this all autodealer fracas, GELs retirement plan, China’s interest in Fiji, and incorrect labelling of Fiji we have an administration working towards Constitutional reform, paving a path to democracy, addressing Racial inequality and reeling at being kicked in the gut at the recent PACER meeting in Samoa.

If anyone has there priority right, it clearly ain’t GEL and his clutch of detractors, nor it is the Australian Government let alone their media.

From Ruff8boy

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19 responses to “Australia alarmed over China involvement in Fiji

  1. VB was right to say… if Aus has a relationship with China, why can’t Fiji? Aus’s geopolitical interests are threatened with Fiji playing up and telling Aus to F off, while VB aligns with China. Aus is SCARED what a stronger china in the pacific will mean for their own political and economic interests. Despite what they make us believe, Aus and Nz are not our only options. Forget PACER. Let’s make our own trade agreement with pacific sisters and brothers and China, India, Venezuela…(minus that viavia levu samoa). GEL is not even worth the analysis. He can go live with his colonial masters in australia mate and eat kangaroo meet for all we care.

  2. @Niu agree totally. The Late Ron Crocombe only 15 years ago warned the Australian Government and the Forum Island members that the dominant player in the Pacific in the future will be China and not those two southerners.
    And as much as they hate China their economy depends on the PROC as and in the recent world recession while the West went down China was the only one to go up and guess who was propping China up economically? all the business conglomerates from countries who hate her… As for us, while China loves us, our own Chinaman GEL remains one of our biggest haters. Ironic….

  3. agree with Niu! A & NZ thot they had the pacific lock stock & barrel, over the years they made sure we were totally reliant on them! instead of developing us to become self sufficient, their colonial attitude of handout aids (which was to benefit them really), but which never helped in developing Fiji. We look at the garment sector, where they made it difficult for Fiji to export to them by elevating the rules of origin!!!oh no !!!one day mafatu!!! the time has come that we look elsewhere for genuine friendship!!!! so butt out A&NZ !!!!

  4. So we can expect the governor of the Reserve Bank – and others in the regime – to give back their New Zealand and Australian PRs?

    Or perhaps its time to block NZ and Australian tourists from visiting? Because Fijian hotels and resorts are full of Chinese tourists, right?

    Or the next time there is a major hurricane refuse their offers of assistance? And the Chinese air force really can reach Fiji at the drop of a hat, can’t they?

    And all those NZ and Australian medical specialists who volunteer their time and services? Hell, the Chinese are waaaaay better!

    And when they get really bad, Fiji could refuse to attend any 7s tournament NZ and Australia have the audacity to be at too!

    I’m no fan of NZ and Australian policies in the South Pacific but somehow, I don’t think so……

  5. Walk into a Pub in Canberra and one may not be too surprised with sites of diplomats from NZ, China and Aust Bureaucrats having a giggle about Fiji’s claims as an International heart stopper.

    As if we posses a rare and strategic International security point or important economic leverage to even catch the attention of other Super Powers, let alone adversely effecting their own.

    No, not at all!! Australia has other major International and security issues to worry about. Again, as we mentioned in other blogs a couple of weeks ago, read the security white paper recently released by the Rudd Government. The region and Fiji are barely mentioned in the document, but only a few instances to portrait our economic and security threats to our big neighbours are near minimal. Hence, boringly put at the back burner of this region’s International economic and security portfolio.

    Can we guess what the big boys are talking about us small boys in our absence?? May be they’re talking about us been very naughty and needs a Regional Police to keep us behave. Aha…that’s when former Fiji Comish Huges and his UN Police boys may return to look after us….opps….

  6. @ Kahukiwa what are you raving about.

    The criticisms are levelled at the foreign policies of the governments of Oz and NZ, not the people. There is a difference.

    Everybody knows that politicians are not necessarily the sharpest tools in the shed when it comes to integrity and fair play. You only need to look at the soap opera unfolding in Canberra today where the leader of the opposition Malcolm Turnbull is staring down the barrel of resignation on account of a half cocked attempt at discreditting the PM with allegations of cronyism. These proved to be baseless – a classic case of truth being sacrificed for political gain. This is the calibre of people who dictate foreign policy.

    I am sure you will agree the government of your country could have handled the Fiji situation better if it had better grip on the situation on the ground rather than listen to the media and the rantings of washed out corrupt politicians.

    Thankfully the public in OZ and NZ know better. They still come to Fiji in droves with tourism in the next few months gearing for one of its best years in a long time. And if the Chinese come for their holidays, hey it is all good. They will not be treated any differently. It is all cool with the people.

  7. Topasi

    My point is that NZ, Aust. and Fiji are engaged at a number of levels – be it tourism, trade, sport or at the governmental level.

    And what happens at a governmental level can and does impact down the chain – particularly for a small country like Fiji.

    And as for not being aware of what was happening on the ground in Fiji, the old argument that NZ and Aust. somehow don’t understand Fiji is a bit tired.

    Notwithstanding the fact that the Qarase government made some serious errors of judgement, and was following a shaky economic policy, I don’t think one has to be expert in Fijian affairs to note that the execution of the coup followed an increase in questions over missing regimental funds, budget blowouts and the aftermath of the mutiny.

    Like many others I am still waiting real evidence of the rampant corruption the Qarase government has been accused of.

    And that old chestnut about the media – somebody in Fiji must be scared of the truth, why else the censorship?

  8. @ Niu, Reason & S. Raqiqi – love your comments. For GEL – he’s over-rated! No one is indispensible. For those of us who continue to love this country, despite the sorry comments, let’s remain positive and spread positive messages, to get this country moving forward, with or without Austrah-lia and New ZeeLand.

  9. @talei! right on!!! with or without austra-lia lia &new zea wee wee land!!!!

  10. Benevolent Dictatorship.

    In the eyes of most academics benevolent dictatorship is a myth. Throughout history we have seen many so called benevolent leaders carry their nations to ruin, leading academics to dismiss this form of rule as an unworkable option, choosing democracy over it. But can it work?

    We have seen examples of it working in some countries in recent times – Lee Kuan Yew’s reign of power in Singapore springs to mind where impressive socio economic and political outcomes were achieved over a short period of time. But then again you have the likes of Musharraf in Pakistan who initially started off on a seemingly good footing but ended up taking the path of a lot of other despots lacking in integrity, vision and leadership. Is is a lottery?

    I think not. It is a question of horses for courses.

    In all Pacific island cultures, benevolent dictatorship lies at its very core. That has always been the case since the dawn of time. The traditional structure has always been there, where the co0mmunity head has the final say and the people are subservient to a specific line of authority throughout the hierarchy.

    We see the very same benevolent structure translated in the religious arena. The Methodist church is one such example where the masses follow blindly the authority of the head. There is no freedom of expression – you are either with us or against us.

    At the family level, we also see benevolent dictatorship at work. In most Pacific island cultures, the man is the head of the household and his authority is almost iron-fisted, question at your peril. It is accepted that the head will provide and do what is best for the members of the family. True this exists in families in other countries, but in the Pacific way, the lines are clearly drawn and the expectations are not disputed. Until of course western culture came along…

    They say that democracy is a foreign flower in Fiji. Many in Fiji can relate to this because throughout their whole existence, they have relied on benevolent dictatorship in one form or another. It is nothing new.

  11. The tone of Kahukiwa’s post gives away so much. An expectation of PRs being handed back, humanitarian aid unlikely to be forthcoming in the future……… Unseemly and mean-spirited comment.

    For years there has been an expectation from one side, it has appeared, that everyone in this region would dance willingly to a certain tune choreographed by yourselves. That is not ‘engagement’ which is either desirable nor worthy of any of the participants. It is doomed to failure at some stage. And why, one might ask, should any party to such a relationship not be free, fully free, to conduct themselves as they see fit? As their own best interests would or might determine? Is that not democracy in action? Such peevishness is revelatory. It suggest above all an inherent attachment to inequality and no regard for a parity of esteem between regional partners. Sorry to sound so severe.

  12. Zena M

    No need to apologise but I was trying to be sarcastic.

    Not for a minute do I think NZ and Aust. should withdraw humanitarian assistance or disengage from Fiji. But if you are going to publicly continue the pretty weak argument that somehow the NZ and Australian governments don’t understand Fiji and should butt out, then withdraw from the engagement. You can’t have it both ways.

    And as much as Bainimarama may wish to disengage completely from NZ and Australia – if only for the fact that he doesn’t like the scrutiny and criticism brought to bear by NZ and Australia – he can’t.

  13. Unfortunately, Kahukiwa, sarcasm is not well understood or received in Fiji nor in other South Pacific countries. Sarcasm often leads to distortions of meaning and so to miscommunication. This is because a literal meaning may be received. How many who come into the South Pacific realise this? It must be the source of many mixed messages leading to our perpetual ‘state of confusion’.

  14. Right on Zena.

    I find from experience people who resort to sarcasm suffer from an inferiority/inadequacy complex and are fearful of how others will take them. So they use sarcasm as an each way bet.

    Am I close to the heart of the matter Kaahukiwa aka 2 inch dick?

  15. Oh dear Topasi/Zena M – now you really have let the side down.

    I think you will find there are actually quite a few Pacific Islanders well versed in the dark art of sarcasm – the more enlightened and wordly ones at least. Though obviously not in your narrow worlds.

    And Topasi perhaps its time to change the subject – your crying over how bad NZ and Aust. are treating your tinpot dictator hero is getting tiresome. Time to move on.

  16. Heh..heh..heh..it is also time for sarcastic judgemental non committal bystanders to move on…

  17. Australian so-called aid is crippling the Pacific. It’s the belief that we can’t live without the white master’s handouts that is keeping us from prosperity.
    We are not talking about the private sector. More of them should come and spend their money in Fiji. That would do a lot more for us than any aid project.
    True the Pacific is not a very strategic region esp since the end of the cold war, but we like to think people overseas actually know who/where we are. Still, we are in Oz & NZ backyard and factor into their geopolitical interests esp. vis-a-vis China.

  18. who needs australia and new zealand. when china can bankroll our vision.

  19. J’ai vraiment appr�ci� la lecture de vos messages. Ils sont tous bien �crit et instructif.

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