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Thursday 24 Aug 2017 | 13:47 | SYDNEY
Thursday 24 Aug 2017 | 13:47 | SYDNEY

China-Fiji: Smoke and mirrors

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COMMENTS

12 September 2008 15:07

It seems like something's up in Fiji.

When I published figures on China's pledged aid program to Fiji a few months ago, the interim regime erupted in indignation, particularly in relation to a huge $US150 million soft loan (around $F240 million). The permanent secretary of the Fiji Prime Minister's Office, Parmesh Chand said 'His figures are all wrong'. 'We are seeking a soft loan from China for various sectors but the figure is nowhere near what Hanson's report says'. The Chinese Embassy in Fiji also lashed out. 'There are no new aid programmes to Fiji, neither am I aware of any talks for increased funding', the Director of Political Affairs at the Chinese Embassy in Fiji, Lihua Hu, said.

It was a little surprising then to learn today that Commodore Frank Bainimarama has re-announced the $US150 million ($F240 million) Chinese soft loan, and the Chinese Embassy seems to have confirmed that talks are indeed underway. Hmmm...I guess the Fiji PMO and Director of Political Affairs at the Chinese Embassy were just out of the loop.  

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