17 Apr 2012

Fiji said to be positioning itself as strategic hub for China

6:21 pm on 17 April 2012

A political scientist at the University of the South Pacific says Fiji is positioning itself as an important strategic partner for China in the South Pacific.

Dr Sandra Tarte, who specialises in Sino-Fiji relations, was commenting on the recent visit to Fiji by high level Chinese public security officials and an evolving defence agreement between the two countries.

She says a visit to China by Fiji defence officials later this year to further a Memorandum of Understanding on defence ties is another step in the process.

"This will I think try to formalise co-operation in areas to do with training, it's already happening of course, weapons and equipment procurement and possibly infrastructure development."

Dr Sandra Tarte says Fiji could become a hub for China's naval vessels on top of the satellite tracking vessels it mainly receives at the moment.