The 2006 Fiji Coup: Engagement or Exclusion? Contrasting Reactions from New Zealand and the People’s Republic of China
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
The emergence of China as a dominant force in international politics has challenged the traditional roles states have played in regions such as the South Pacific. The 2006 Fiji coup heralded a new era of competition in the region as PRC policy response conflicted with that of existing powers such as New Zealand. China continued to engage and expand its relationship with Fiji while New Zealand attempted to isolate the interim Fijian administration. This thesis looks at how New Zealand and PRC policy towards Fiji has clashed following the 2006 coup and assesses the implications for these powers as well as the long term stability of the region. New Zealand responded to the coup by placing strict sanctions on Fiji and lobbying the Pacific Islands Forum and the Commonwealth to suspend Fiji’s membership. Meanwhile, the PRC expanded its diplomatic, military and financial ties with Fiji and provided funding for the MSG, a frequent supporter of the Fijian regime.