Fiji is an important place whether Fijians want that to be the case or not.
This was stated by Australian National University’s National Security College Head, Professor Rory Medcalf during an exclusive interview with fijivillage News about the influence of China in the Pacific Region.
Professor Medcalf says it is because of Fiji’s strategic location in the Pacific, and Fiji’s importance as a very substantial Pacific nation, and something of a leader in the region.
He says it seems that the new Government has sent some quite clear and firm messages about the principles that it upholds.
Professor Medcalf adds they are consistent with the principles, democratic values, stability, and culture of this place.
He further adds there is a question mark probably over the Chinese and what it means for their engagement.
The academic says his assumption is that Rabuka’s Coalition Government will be engaging with a wide array of partners, it will have an additional degree of respect, and positive engagement with its partners that share the same value systems, same principles and same democratic background.
He says that means it will be more uphill for China from here on, and raises the bar, so that when they come forward with partnership ideas, it will have to demonstrate high standards of transparency and accountability, and all those values that make democratic societies strong.
Professor Medcalf adds if China rises to that test, it means they have changed in response to the interests of the Pacific nations, and if China fails then he thinks their presence and influence in the region will peak and maybe diminish.
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