MELBOURNE: China's state-run media XINHUA opening up an office in Fiji is a sign of growing relations between the two counties.
For news organisations around the world though, Fiji is a particularly difficult country to cover accurately because of censorship issues.
Frank Bainimarama and his interim government's strict media decree means only positive news is reported - it Is a challenge no doubt that XINHUA's Suva chief Jiang Xianming will face.
But Jiang is no stranger to challenges - he has been reporting on the frontline from some of the world's most dangerous places for 35 years.
Presenter: Rob Sharp
Speaker: Jiang Xianming, XINHUA's new Fiji bureau chief
- Radio Australia/Pacific Media Watch
Xinhua here [in Fiji]
Fiji Sun, writer" Leone Cabenatabua
SUVA: The official press agency of the People’s Republic of China now has a news bureau in Suva. This was confirmed by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China spokesman Dazhi Guo.
Guo said Xinhua began setting up their Suva Bureau last October.
“Xinhua Suva Bureau’s coverage includes all big and important events both in Fiji and some South Pacific island countries like Vanuatu, Samoa, Tonga and Tuvalu,” Guo said.
“We are interested in all areas including politics, economy, culture, youth, women, sports and soso."
Guo pointed out that Fiji is the centre of South Pacific island nations, which has more important influence in the world especially in the Pacific affairs.
"In recent years, China-Fiji relations are growing rapidly, Xinhua as the government news agency has the responsibility and task to satisfy the Chinese people who have had growing interests about that, and objectively tell the Chinese people and the world the reality of Fiji."
Guo said the Suva bureau aimed at promotion of mutual understanding between the two countries.
"Also, Xinhua can be a good subscriber of Fijian media since Xinhua has become a worldwide news agency which has had all kinds of news reporting, like 24-hour daily news bulletins in five foreign languages of English, French, Russian, Spanish and Arabic."
He pointed out that Xinhua has a permanent chief correspondent based in Suva, together with two local stringers.
He is Jiang Xianming, 59, a senior journalist with more than 35 years' working experience.
Since 1975, he has served Xinhua Special in international news reporting. He has been the news editor with the professional title of the highest level in China. He has also been an overseas correspondent and chief correspondent in Ghana, Zambia, Bangladesh, Iran, Egypt and the Middle East region.
Guo said Xinhua News Agency had had a long history since 1931. Xinhua means "New China" in Chinese. It's a state news agency with staff members of more than 10,000. It has 35-40 bureaus domestically in every province and the army, and more than 150 overseas bureaus, like the one in Suva.
It also has had regional head offices in Asia (Hong Kong), North America (New York), Europe (Brussels), Eastern Europe (Moscow), Middle East (Cairo), Latin America (Mexico) and Africa (Nairobi). - Fiji Sun/Pacific Media Watch