China in the Pacific: a question of influence

International relations Relations with China Pacific Area China

Last week Radio National’s Background Briefing aired the extraordinary allegation that the seventy-seven alleged Chinese criminals deported from Fiji in August were mainly teenage girls brought to the Pacific as sex workers. All the evidence suggests that the arrests were designed to reassure a domestic Chinese audience rather than serve the interests of justice.

In the program’s second report on Fiji, Hagar Cohen maps out how the Fijian government keeps a lid on this and other sensitive stories with the help of an American PR company, Qorvis. The firm’s other clients include the Saudi government, which it promotes as a supporter of counterterrorism and women’s rights. Two former departmental secretaries describe a climate of fear within the Fijian government and media ...

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