China appears to have fanned the flames of Pacific Islander anger over Australia’s failure to
provide heaps of extra money embrace a more pro-active approach to helping Pacific Islanders prepare for global warming.
Beijing suggests Australia reflect on how it treats Pacific neighbours after climate change fallout
Beijing has suggested Australia reflect on how it engages its Pacific neighbours after Fiji’s Prime Minister accused Scott Morrison of being “insulting and condescending” at last week’s Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) in Tuvalu.
- Pacific leaders were unhappy with Australia’s stance on climate change at last week’s forum
- China’s Foreign Ministry accused Australia of being condescending and insulting
- China insists its aid comes with no strings attached
After hours of negotiations, Pacific leaders failed to reach agreement on climate change action, and instead issued a watered-down communique after Australia refused to endorse statements calling for a ban on new coal mines and rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
The discussions on climate change reduced the Tongan Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva to tears while other Pacific leaders also expressed their disappointment.
Fiji’s PM Frank Bainimarama told The Guardian that when Mr Morrison was “[backed] into a corner by the leaders” at the forum, he started talking about how much money Australia had been giving to the Pacific — a move Mr Bainimarama described as “very insulting, very condescending.”
In response to Mr Bainimarama’s comments, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters “it wasn’t the first time that leaders of Pacific island countries resented Australia’s behaviour.”
What can I say – Clearly China’s generous “no strings attached” approach to helping Pacific Islanders prepare for climate change carried the day.