‘Restriction on journalists a joint decision’

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Government officials stop the media from taking photos during the Chinese Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi’s visit to Fiji at the Grand Pacific Hotel. Picture: SOPHIE RALULU

Chinese ambassador Qian Bo says the restriction on journalists asking questions of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama was a joint decision between the Chinese and Fijian governments.

He said there was no hidden agenda from the Chinese side, while addressing the media following the conclusion of last Monday’s China-Pacific Island Foreign Ministers’ Meeting.

He said Mr Yi did not respond to media questions and requests for interviews because they were respecting the arrangement they made with the Fijian Government but his willingness to answer questions should have been seen as a gesture of openness and frankness.

“First of all, I think you should be happy because our state councillor and foreign minister has talked at length about our relationship with the South Pacific countries in general and also specifically our relationship with Fiji and these are all the messages we want,” Mr Bo said.

“And also, if you agree, I am willing to answer your questions, is also a gesture of openness and frankness to our media to show our respect to you because there is no hidden agenda from the Chinese side. “So there is nothing we cannot disclose to you.”

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