China’s Ambassador to Vanuatu Mr. Liu Quan visited the paramount chief of Ifira, Mantoi Kalsakau III and his community on Friday.
“This is a historical day for the people of Ifira,”chief Kalsakau conveyed with pride to Vanuatu Nightly News’ Kizzy Kalsakau during the visit.
“This is the first time for the Chinese Ambassador to visit our island.
“I first went to China in 2003 to purchase a barge- the Saravenua.
“I had a good relationship with the Government of China so I when I see the Ambassador coming to my village today, to see myself and my people, I am very glad.”
A positive result of the visit saw the Chinese Ambassador announcing that teachers from Ifira stand to benefit from the relationship by going for training in China.
“This is very good, it is an opportunity for the teachers to travel and learn overseas,” said the paramount chief of Ifira.
“With the grant and help from the Chinese government, teachers from Ifira can now travel to China.”
The chief mentioned that the relationship between China and the people of Ifira begun with their ancestors.
“In the 1900s, the first Chinese came to New Hebrides. They knew the family and people of Ifira,” he said.
“In fact, there are also Chinese people buried on Ifira.”
2017 marks the 35th year of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between China and Vanuatu.
“We have engaged in a lot of activities,” said Ambassador Liu Quan. “We want to learn and contribute more in people to people relationships.
“Ifira is well known and there are a lot of statesmen and politicians who came from Ifira and also struggled for Vanuatu’s independence.
“I pay tribute to them for their contribution to the people of this country.
“Today, I was received by the paramount chief and was welcomed with warm remarks to which I responded to. I also visited and saw the conditions of the school.
“They have given a petition and we will see how we can assist because normally petitions of this nature is processed through the Ministry of Education and the Prime Minister’s Office.”
The Chinese Ambassador sees the visit as promising and which can be strengthened over time.
Principal of the Ifira Bilingual Junior Secondary School Charlie Taiwia said the school is honoured to have the Chinese Ambassador visiting them and also donating to the school.
“We are very pleased and is historical event for the school and Ifirans,” he said. “We wish to thank the Chinese government.”
Mr. Bob Young from the Chinese Embassy reiterated that the Embassy is pleased to visit the people of Ifira.
Donations include volleyballs, basketballs, recorders and sports items.