Satellite photos taken by Maxar Technologies in April last year showed that the four blue-roofed structures on Yongxing Island, the largest island in the Paracel Islands, should be ground-to-air missile sites.

(Reposted from the website of Radio Free Asia)

[Compilation of Zhang Peiyuan/Comprehensive Report] As China is actively expanding its influence in the Pacific island countries, Fiji’s new Prime Minister Rabuka (Sitiveni Rabuka) who came to power at the end of last year said in an interview with Australian media that he would change the previous government’s policy. Pro-China stance, strengthening military and diplomatic relations with traditional ally Australia, and refusing Beijing to train Fiji's military and police.

No longer pro-China, the new government will be more supportive of Australia and New Zealand

In an interview with The Australian, Rabuka said China was increasingly trying to consolidate its influence, but believed that sticking to "people you know better is always safer" meant his government would stand by old friends Australia and New Zealand outperform Beijing.

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Rabuka, appalled by the surge in Chinese influence in Fiji under former Fijian prime minister Bainimarama, promised his government would not accept a Solomon Islands-style deal that would allow China to train Fiji's military and police …“We want to preserve and strengthen our sovereign strategic assets”.

Rabuka said Beijing might want to train Fiji's military and police, but this would be a very difficult decision for Fiji because Fiji already has a defense cooperation program with Australia and a military assistance program with New Zealand.

Nor does it sell key infrastructure such as airports and seaports

Rabuka also stressed that careful consideration must be made before entering into any other agreements, which could backfire.

The report pointed out that Rabuka indicated that he would overturn the agreement reached with Beijing that the Chinese police could be seconded to the office of Fiji's police chief.

The agreement has angered many Fijian police officers, and Rabuka also believes that the agreement should not continue because of the differences in the judicial systems of China and Fiji; Fiji is based on the British system, and his government prefers to continue to adopt a familiar system .

Moreover, Rabuka is not considering selling critical infrastructure such as airports and seaports to China or other foreign interests, despite Fiji's unstable economic situation.

China's missile battalion on Yongxing Island in Xisha has been completed

In addition, the English version of Radio Free Asia reported on the 25th that according to the latest satellite images released last week by Maxar Technologies of the United States, the footage taken in April last year showed that China’s missile battalion on Yongxing Island in the Paracel Islands has been closed. When completed, there are four buildings with retractable roofs, one of which has an ajar roof and what appears to be a surface-to-air missile launcher inside.

China has built similar structures with retractable roofs on several reefs in the Spratly Islands in the past, which means that the PLA now has surface-to-air missiles permanently prepared in both the Spratlys and the Paracels.

Yongxing Island is the largest natural island controlled by China in the South China Sea. In 2012, China established Sansha City with Yongxing Island as its capital.

In 2016, the deployment of the Hongqi-9 missile was captured by other satellite imaging companies.

This type of missile has a range of 200 kilometers and poses a serious threat to other countries' military institutions.

Fiji's new prime minister Rabuka will strengthen military and diplomatic ties with Australia, reverse an agreement with Beijing to deny China training of Fiji's police or army.

(Associated Press file photo)