Face it, we lost Fiji

China's growing influence in the South PacificI blogged on the weekend about the massive shift in influence in South Pacific politics with the announcement that Fiji would join the Non-Aligned Movement and the growing influence of China in Fiji.

We need look no further than the Fiji Government’s own website to see just how out of the play New Zealand has become. Right across the home page is a lovely picture from 4 days ago of the Chinese Ambassador handing yet another cheque.

Also on the Fiji Government website is a link to the proposed People’s Charter. If only our government proposed solutions in such a transparent way. Perhaps for the first time since independence in 1970 we are seeing Fiji actually properly participate in nation building, and without the strictures of a colonial past to hedge in the populace. The People’s Charter reads well, certainly far better than Sir Paul Reeves travesty of a constitution which condemned Fiji to a separatist parliament and further coups.

To go with the People Charter a song and video has also been commissioned that shows Fiji in a far different light from that showed by our mainstream media, who prefer to continue to show gun wielding soldiers when they are in fact few and far between.

In the game of Realpolitik the Commodore has showed up Helen Clark, John Howard, John Key and Kevin Rudd and in the process started the eventual weaning of the rest of the South Pacific from the parsimonious, condescending and sanctimonious remonstrations of New Zealand and Australia. Mark my words, this failure of our foreign policy will be felt for many years to come, with Vanuatu, Tonga, then Samoa distancing themselves from New Zealand.

the worst part of all this is that we only have our-selves to blame. In our arrogance, we thought we knew best, we thought that we could force Fiji into our way of doing things, yet conducted ourselves with complete hypocrisy. We insisted that Fiji return to democracy and at the same time feted dictators, cut free trade deals with non-democratic regimes and exported our produce to worse. All the time we wagged our fingers at Fiji and tut-tutted about how terrible it all was that they didn’t have an elected government anymore. Well we have got what we deserved, and the Fijians are laughing at us.

Murray McCully hasn’t even issued a press release about Fiji’s joining of the Non-Aligned Movement. I suppose he will throw his hands up in anguish when Robert Mugabe, Muammar al-Gaddafi and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad come calling. We can hardly complain though can we?

The Commodore basically “rat-fucked” us internationally, and all he did was stand firm and tell us to stop interfering in Fiji’s internal affairs. Actually, a quite reasonable request. Instead we place restrictions and sanctions on them because…well..because they were so successful with Zimbabwe, weren’t they?

So, thanks to successive governments, China is now happily camped less than three hours flying time from Auckland and not a shot was fired. I wonder what our Vietnam, Malayan and Korean veterans think about that? They gave their blood, sweat, tears and lives to keep China and their proxies at bay. that has turned out to be all for naught.

Nevermind about mending bridges, there are chasms to be filled now and with our current policies I don’t hold much hope in the place of my birth resuming friendly relations with New Zealand anytime soon.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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