USP Electronic Research Repository

Looking for new friends - Sustainable South-South Cooperation or temporary necessity in Fiji’s international relations after the coup of December 2006

Weber, Eberhard (2015) Looking for new friends - Sustainable South-South Cooperation or temporary necessity in Fiji’s international relations after the coup of December 2006. [Conference Proceedings]

[img] PDF - Published Version
Restricted to Registered users only

Download (3MB)


In December 2006 Fiji experienced its fourth coup within less than 20 years. The reaction of old metropolitan friends like Australia, New Zealand, the USA and the EU didn’t take long. Travel sanctions were announced and development assistance frozen. The climax was reached when the country was fully suspended from the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat in May 2009 and from the Commonwealth in September 2009. Being politically isolated Fiji started to foster secondary political friendships of olden days and established new ones. Relations were intensified with Cuba, Indonesia, Russia, South Africa, Venezuela and others. Most important however was the intensification of relations with China, and to a lesser extend with India. In September 2014 an eight year period without elected Government and parliament came to an end. Already before elections the stand of many of the old friends had become more pragmatic and rapprochement happened with a number of countries, most importantly Australia. Seven months before election date Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop met Prime Minister Bainimarama. Not long after the election and as soon as the “new” old government had been sworn in Foreign Minister Bishop was back to Fiji for a state visit in October 2014. High ranking politicians from New Zealand, Europe and the Middle East followed very soon. Also the new friends from the Global South showed their faces. On November 19 a two days state visit of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi started, the first of an Indian Prime Minister after 33 years when Indira Gandhi came to Fiji in September 1981. Mr. Modi had not even left the country when the Chinese President Xi Jinping with a 100-member delegation arrived on November 21 for a three day state visit. The very first time a Chinese President visited any Pacific Island country (PIC). The paper looks into the re-orientation of Fiji’s international relations after the coup of 2006. It looks into the mechanics and substance of the intensification of relations especially with China, the deliverables as well as the crucial question, if now, after Fiji has returned to democracy the re-orientation has been a temporary necessity or if there are signs that South-South cooperation will remain sustainable.

Item Type: Conference Proceedings
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DS Asia
D History General and Old World > DU Oceania (South Seas)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Divisions: Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > School of Geography, Earth Science and Environment
Depositing User: Eberhard Weber
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2020 01:57
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2020 01:57

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

More statistics for this item...