Acting Prime Minister Ham Lini and China’s Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang

By Len Garae

Three Chinese warships are coming to take part in the celebrations marking 35 years of the relationship between Vanuatu and China on July 30, while on their way home from active duty protecting the international water ways off Somalia against pirates in East Africa.

This is confirmed by Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang during a photo session with Acting Prime Minister Ham Lini yesterday.

Asked how many Chinese marines are likely to be on the warships, the Minister says he does not have the number but reliable diplomatic sources put it at 700.

What the Vice Foreign Minister says however is that cultural groups will be taking part in cultural activities organised in Port Vila to mark the occasion, to continue to strengthen the political, economic, cultural and social ties between the two countries.

He speaks highly of the warm relationship between Vanuatu and China saying his country has decided to become a good friend of Vanuatu a long time ago, based on the recognition and right for the people to become free from the colonial yoke regardless of whether Vanuatu was big or small or rich or poor.

This is the Minister’s second visit after the first one nine years ago.

On his visit this time, the Minister who is accompanied by a high level delegation says he has visited a number of Chinese funded projects currently under construction and he is highly impressed by the progress made so far.

He is understood to have also visited the Korman Stadium Sports Development Project.

He says the current positive development climate is going to lead to more development projects earmarked for the future.

Acting Prime Minister Ham Lini has welcomed the Chinese Vice Foreign Minister and joins him to confirm the sound relationship between the two countries saying Vanuatu stands firm with China on its One China Policy.

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