While most consumers can easily identify water that is supposedly from Fiji, very few people know much else about this South Pacific Island nation. Though it is true that Fiji contains pure and delicious, high-end water that is bottled and sold, Fiji is much more than that to savvy businessmen. Tropical and lovely, filled with waterfalls and coated in candy-gold sands, Fiji appears as peaceful and serene as it is distressed and dilapidated.
Military rule has been the law of the land in Fiji for more than four years, now. This lovely little Pacific Island has become the home of terror, slums, and pariah-like qualities that make its mishaps seem untouchable. Though the royal family of England is still beloved by Fiji citizens, the land has been suspended from its membership in the Commonwealth. This humiliating punishment is shocking for people who understand what the Commonwealth is to its people.
Voreqe Bainimarama, a military commander who is also considered a mastermind, toppled the ruling government back in 2006 under the promise of freedom from corruption, clean streets, and an end to poverty. Now unpopular and even shunned by the Commonwealth and Fiji’s traditional allies, Bainimarama is looking elsewhere for friendship. Countries in Asia, in particular China, have become interested in what Fiji has to offer. Bainimarama called leaders from Beijing who bailed him out of debt recently, “visionaries.”
Only for those in the dark does this come as a surprise, as the Red Dragon has been gathering friends in most countries that dislike the power-hold of the West. From Burma to Zimbabwe, Sudan to Cuba, China seems to enjoy the company of any nation that’s on the outskirts of Western approval. For Fiji, this may mean much needed human services and funding, but the long term affects could prove destabilizing for a once-peaceful Pacific Island.