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Fiji Time: 10:42 PM on Thursday 17 April

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China likes to help developing nations

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Update: 1.50pm AID to the Pacific Island nations from China was questioned by Pacific journalists representing their countries in Beijing this week.

The group of 15 journalists from Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Nauru, Cook Islands, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Palau, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia are in China on the invitation of the Chinese government.

Journalists asked what the Chinese government hoped to gain out of aid poured to the Pacific.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs deputy director general Deng Hongbo said helping the Pacific was part of China's concept where it gave priority to neighboring developing countries.

Mr Deng said even though China had developed at an accelerated rate in the past 10 years it still considered itself a developing country.

The events of December 5 last year has greatly affected the attitude of its neighbouring countries such as Australia and New Zealand to Fiji but Mr Deng said China had a policy not to interfere in the internal matters of any of its affiliations.

"We have always respected Fiji's status as an independent nation and we have called on the other countries to do the same and reconsider their attitudes towards Fiji and the current situation in the country," he said.