20 Aug 2007

China to maintain full aid to Fiji despite coup

6:05 am on 20 August 2007

China says it will maintain its full range of aid programmes for Fiji despite the coup last year, which prompted Australia and New Zealand to impose sanctions.

Fiji TV has shown the Chinese ambassador to Fiji, Cai Jinbiao, saying the political situation is an internal matter for Fiji.

He says Fiji is still eligible for a share of the nearly 370-million US dollars in aid which China has set aside for Pacific island countries.

He said they are only waiting for an application from Fiji before it is sent to Beijing for processing.

Cai Jinbiao says China will continue with its grant aid projects such as the Navuso Bridge and the Somosomo hydro-electric power project.

China has also approved the appointment of businessman and former finance minister Sir James Ah Koy as Fiji's new ambassador to Beijing and Major Neumi Leweni as the new counsellor.

Both will take up their appointments next month.