January 23, 2013

China backs RFMF

  • Increased training help
  • Machinery for engineers
  • Possible new navy boats

January 22, 2013 | Filed under: Fiji News | Posted by: newsroom

Fiji could receive new navy vessels from China.

They would replace the ageing navy boats which have been servicing and guarding Fiji waters for decades.

Republic of Fiji Military Forces Commander and Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama revealed this after meeting Major-General Qian Lihua, Chief of the Foreign Affairs Office in China’s Ministry of Defence, yesterday.

Major-General Qian and his delegation were treated to full Fijian traditional ceremonies of welcome at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks (QEB) in Nabua yesterday morning.

Commodore Bainimarama said the visit was part of their annual defence co-operation briefing.

“We discuss areas of co-operation, training and development,” he said.

Major-General Qian also assured in his short speech after the ceremony that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of the People’s Republic of China would help and support the RFMF.

He made a tour of the RFMF facilities, including the Engineers Corps, the Forces Training Group in Nasinu and the Fiji Navy.

“The inspection will allow them to see areas they can further assist us,” Commodore Bainimarama said.

“We have discussed a few areas and where they can help like machinery, which we will use for more rehabilitation and regional development.

“We are also looking at replacing our navy boats and also possible help in improving our band,”

This latest development will also result in increased assistance in the form of vehicles, uniforms, other equipment as well as training opportunities for defence personnel.

Major-General Qian was accompanied by Chinese Ambassador to Fiji Huang Yong to the QEB.

In 2011 the RFMF received road construction and maintenance vehicles from the People’s Republic of China, which is assisting the Government with its rural development projects being implemented by the Engineers Corps.

China’s partnership and bilateral relations with Fiji were strengthened following the so-called smart sanctions imposed by Australia and New Zealand in 2007. The Prime Minister and RFMF Commander has acknowledged the willing Chinese support.

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