4 May 2009

Forum suspension will push Fiji towards China, says academic

1:35 pm on 4 May 2009

An academic from the University of the South Pacific says the Pacific Islands Forum decision to suspend Fiji will make it more isolated and push it into the arms of China.

Dr Steven Ratuva says the suspension could make the region more unstable.

He says we are likely to see the creation of two powerblocks in the region, with New Zealand and Australia on one side, and China and Fiji on the other.

"What we are going to see is a reconfiguration of the regional architecture in a way which means Fiji becomes isolated. It's going to start strengthening its link with China. China coming out openly with its chequebook diplomacy which is quite substantial."

Dr Steven Ratuva from the University of the South Pacific