4 Feb 2013

French Polynesia claims Chinese backing in decolonisation campaign

5:17 am on 4 February 2013

The French Polynesian president, Oscar Temaru, claims to have China's support for his government's bid to reinscribe French Polynesia on the UN decolonisation list.

Speaking to reporters in Tahiti, Mr Temaru says if a resolution gets tabled in the UN General Assembly as expected, he is certain it will pass, and he says France already knows that.

Mr Temaru says the future is being played out right in the Pacific, with the US and China vying for influence and with the votes of the small island states at the UN on offer.

In both December and January, Mr Temaru spent time lobbying in New York and addressing the 120-strong Non-Aligned Movement about his decolonisation bid.

France, along with Australia and New Zealand, want to keep French Polynesia's autonomy status unchanged but in the 1980s they backed New Caledonia's reinscription bid.