Sovereignty talks at Defence Summit in Singapore

Inia Seruiratu
Inia Seruiratu. PHOTO: PINA

Country leaders present at a defence summit in Singapore on Monday have made their stance clear on sovereignty.

Inia Seruiratu, Fiji’s Minister for Defence, National Security and Policing highlighted that Fiji values all the relationships it shares with developed countries. 

He said this was because they assist in developing the country’s capacity to address issues of interest such as the fight against Climate Change.

“We are vigilant and we are smartly looking at all the opportunities and how we can make the most of the relationships we have,” he said on the sidelines of the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue. 

Seruiratu stressed that regional security could not be achieved without domestic stability and China is a key development partner. 

We are equal says former China ambassador

Speaking at the defence dialogue, China’s former ambassador to the U.S., Cui Tiankai claimed Beijing does not view Pacific island nations as “pawns in a great power struggle”. 

“We want to do whatever we can to help a number of ongoing social and development projects between China and the Pacific island countries,” said Cui.

“China never sees these countries – or any other country – as part of our so-called ‘pantheon,” Cui said. 

“We see them as equal countries, because we (think) countries large or small, rich or poor, strong or weak, should be treated as equals. This is our principle,” he said.

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