China in Fiji: Displacing Traditional Players?

  • Jian Yang


As the political and economic hub of the South Pacific, Fiji is of particular importance in regional politics and economy. China’s influence in Fiji has been growing since December 2006 when Commodore Josaia Voreqe (Frank) Bainimarama staged a military takeover.1 Instead of condemning the coup, China called on Fiji’s neighbors to display a more understanding and reasonable attitude toward Fiji. While New Zealand and Australia have imposed a travel ban on members of Fiji’s military regime, Beijing invited Bainimarama to the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony. China has also been training Fijian civil servants and technical staff in China. What was particularly alarming to observers in the region was the report that China’s pledged aid to Fiji increased by sevenfold one year after the coup, from US$23 million in 2006 to US$161 million in 2007. The increase was even more dramatic if compared with China’s pledged aid of US$1 million in 2005.2


Foreign Direct Investment Foreign Minister Military Regime Diplomatic Relation Official Development Assistance 
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© Jian Yang 2011

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  • Jian Yang

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