HomeDiplomatic NewsAmbassadorsFiji maintains policing cooperation deal with China

Fiji maintains policing cooperation deal with China

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Sydney, 17 March 2024 (TDI): Fiji has decided to uphold its policing cooperation agreement with China following a review, as reported. The decision comes amid concerns raised in Australia regarding the nature of the agreement.

Fijian Home Affairs Minister Pio Tikoduadua confirmed the continuation of the deal, stating, “We are now back on the original police agreement [with China]—that has been restored; we had reviewed it for 12 months.”

This move reverses the hold placed on the decade-old cooperation deal by Fijian Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka in December 2022. He assumed office, citing differences in policing, investigations, and legal systems.

According to The Guardian Australia, Minister Tikoduadua clarified that only Fijian officers will undergo training in China. They will not embed Chinese officers within the Fiji police force. However, Tikoduadua’s office has not yet responded to Reuters’ request for confirmation of this statement.

Geopolitical Dynamics in the Pacific Region

Australia’s Pacific Minister, Pat Conroy, had previously expressed reservations about China’s involvement in policing the Pacific Islands. He advocated for no role for China in this regard.

However, Fiji’s decision to maintain its policing cooperation with China reflects ongoing geopolitical dynamics in the Pacific region.

The recent review and restoration of the policing cooperation agreement between Fiji and China indicated the complexity of regional diplomacy.

Moreover, Fiji’s move underscores the country’s strategic approach to balancing its relationships with different global powers.

China’s ambassador to Australia highlighted China’s strategy to forge policing ties with Pacific Island nations. The aim is to help maintain social order, reassuring that this cooperation should not cause anxiety for Australia, a key ally of the United States.

Also Read: China-Angola announce comprehensive strategic partnership

This development comes amid growing concerns in Australia and other Western countries about China’s expanding influence in the Pacific region. The strategic importance of the Pacific Islands has led to increased scrutiny of partnerships and agreements involving external powers.

 

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