July 21, 2011
China and Russia lead the race to underwater minerals - with Fiji's backing
If the recent news of Fiji's newly acquired presidency of the International Seabed Authority didn't cause ripples domestically that's because it wasn't intended to.
Fiji's nomination to this prestigious body that manages "seabed and ocean floor and subsoil" areas of it's members is of course to help its new friends China and Russia get in on the action and get to the Pacific's rare earth elements first. All the excitement is of course, not rocket science. The treasures deep in the ocean were made known to Fiji in the early 1970's.
The fact that Fiji as a fellow Pacific Island country helped Nauru and Tonga get their collective feet in the door on deep-sea mining ventures is a small bonus. Particularly as it it is not beyond the illegal and treasonous military regime to arm-twist Tonga with a bit of the good ol' quid quo pro angle to try and apprehend Bainimarama's arch nemesis, Ratu Tevita Mara.