13 Jun 2013

China contributes money to Fiji-led regional body

3:29 pm on 13 June 2013

China has given Fiji funds towards the first meeting of the Pacific Islands Development Forum to be held in Nadi in August.

The Forum succeeds the Engaging with the Pacific meetings set up by Fiji following its suspension from the Pacific Islands Forum.

Representatives of 14 Pacific Island countries came together last year at Suva's invitation, including the leaders of Nauru, the Marshall Islands and Tuvalu.

The Fiji Sun reports China has given about 100,000 US dollars towards this year's gathering, billed by Fiji as a summit to demonstrate its spirit of genuine interest and partnership in the overall Pacific community.

Almost half a million US dollars has also been pledged by Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

The paper says Fiji's Foreign Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola has rejected claims the PIDF is an alternative to the Pacific Islands Forum.

He says it addresses social, economic and development issues, which are inadequately addressed by existing bodies.