At a reception jointly hosted yesterday at the National Convention Centre by the Vanuatu Government and the Chinese Embassy, Ambassador Liu Quan reminded that 35 years ago, on March 26, 1982, Chinese Ambassador to Fiji Mr. Shen Zhiweiand and Prime Minister Walter Lini, signed in Port Vila the historic document to establish diplomatic relations between the two countries.

“Let me take this opportunity to express my deep appreciation to the Government and people of Vanuatu.

“I would also like to say “thank you” to Vanuatu former leaders and pioneers who have made their contributions to the strengthening of our bilateral ties.

“As permanent member of UN security council, the second largest economy and the biggest developing country in the world, China is committed to fulfilling its international responsibility. For Vanuatu, we have been trying our best. When Cyclone Pam hit Vanuatu two years ago, China responded immediately by providing emergency disaster-relief goods.

“More than 180 tons of relief supplies were airlifted to Port Vila, helping the Government and the people of Vanuatu to get through the ordeal.

“For about 30 consecutive years, China has sent two medical teams to Santo Northern Hospital and Port Vila Central Hospital, providing the much needed assistance in the health sector of Vanuatu.

“These doctors regularly travelled to outer islands to care for the rural villagers.

“In the field of educational cooperation, about 100 Vanuatu students have been or are currently studying for a degree in China under the Chinese government scholarship programs. In addition to that, more than 700 Ni-Vans have undertaken various professional trainings in China which enhanced the capacity building of Vanuatu human resources.

“As for the development projects, I’d like to mention just a few: the Parliament Building, the expansions of USP Emalus Campus, Malapoa College, and the Prime Minister’s Office Building, the National Convention Centre, the Sports Facilities of 2017 Pacific Mini Games, the Luganville Wharf, and the road constructions on Tanna and Malekula.

“The wharf and road projects, among others, will boost Vanuatu’s economic development from which the local people would particularly benefit.

“I am happy to say that currently Vanuatu has got from China the highest number of aid projects among the pacific island countries.

“This is surely a reflection of our fruitful cooperation.

“In November 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping met with then Prime Minister Joe Natuman, and they decided that China and Vanuatu establish strategic partnership featuring mutual respect and common development.

“This gives us direction and guidance for our future relationship.”

Meanwhile, the Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, has written to Vanuatu’s Foreign Minister, Bruno Leingkon, on the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Vanuatu, that the relations between the two countries sets a good example for China’s ties with other Pacific island countries.

Mr Wang said: “Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Vanuatu, our two sides have respected and supported each other.

“We have conducted fruitful cooperation in bilateral and regional affairs and have made great progress in our relations.

“Our relations set a good example for China’s ties with other Pacific island countries.

“Now, China-Vanuatu relations have important opportunities for further development.

“I am ready to work with Your Excellency to follow up on the consensus reached by the leaders of our respective countries.

“That is, to strengthen exchanges at various levels and to deepen cooperation in all fields in order to further promote the strategic partnership between China and Vanuatu and to bring more benefits to the peoples of our two nations,” China’s Foreign Minister told Mr Leingkon.

In his response to China’s Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, Vanuatu’s Foreign Minister Bruno Leingkon acknowledged that China is an important development partner for Vanuatu.

Mr Leingkon said the development assistance contributed by the Government of China has greatly benefitted the lives of the people of Vanuatu.

“I wish to extend our sincere gratitude to the Government and people of China for the continued support to the development needs and aspirations of the country.

“The One China Policy will continue to remain the corner stone of the relations between Beijing and Port Vila,” Minister Leingkon said.

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