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H.E. Mr Wu Bangguo's Visit: A Milestone in China-Fiji Relations
--Message from Ambassador Huang Yong of the People's Republic of China
2012/09/18

At the invitation of H.E. Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, Prime Ministerof the Republic of Fiji, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the NationalPeople's Congress of the People's Republic of China, will pay an officialvisit to the Republic ofFiji from 20 to 23 September, 2012.

Fiji is the pivotal country in the South Pacific that plays an important role inboth international and regional affairs. China attaches great importance toChina-Fiji relations and has been building China-Fiji relations on the basis ofmutual respect and non- interference.Since the establishment of ImportantCooperative Partnership in 2006, bilateral cooperation between bothcountries in various fields has been further enhanced. China advocates thedemocratization of international relations and the equality of all countries,large or small, strong or weak. China respects the choice ofthe people of Fijifor their development path and appreciates the One China policy held by theFijian Government and its support for China's national reunification. Chinawill continue to make joint efforts with Fiji to promote the ImportantCooperative Partnership on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutualbenefit.

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations, especially after Fiji'sparticipation in the Shanghai Expo in 2010, the Chinese people are more and more familiar with Fiji and our cooperation in all fields has been deepened.Last year our bilateral trade volume grew 34.1% and reached USD 172million, and the number of Chinese tourists to Fiji exceeded 24,000, anincrease of more than 30% over the previous year. At the same time, wehave been engaging in economic and technical cooperation in en effort todevelop Fiji's infrastructure services. In recent years China has completed aseries of projects in Fiji ranging from roads, hydro-power station to low costhousing program. The newly launching of the Nadarivatu Hydro-PowerStation and the future projects such as the Navua Hospital, SomosomoHydro-Power Station and the Vanua Levu Rice program, among others, willbring more benefits to the average people and make contributions to theeconomic and social development of Fiji. It is also worth mentioning that thefirst Confucius Institute in the South Pacific region was formally launched inthe University of the South Pacific this month. It provides a new access forthe people ofFiji and this region to China and Chinese culture.

China and Fiji share similar stances on important international affairs. Thecoordination and cooperation between China and Fiji in the United Nationsand other multilateral arenas have never been so frequent and close. Chinasupports Fiji and other Pacific Island Countries to play constructive role ininternational organizations and supports the efforts by the MelanesianSpearhead Groups (MSG), Engaging with Pacific Meeting and other regionalorganizations or meetings to safeguard interests of the Small IslandDevelopment States (SIDS) and interests of the developing countries as awhole.

The sound development of China-Fiji relations not only brings benefits to thepeople of both countries but also make contribution to peace, stability anddevelopment in the South Pacific region. Both being developing countries,China sympathizes with the difficulties faced by the Pacific Island Countriesand has been providing economic assistance to them within its capacitieswith an aim to support their economic and social development and theimprovement of people's livelihood. At the 24th Post Forum Dialoguemeeting held last month, Mr Cui Tiankai, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairsof China, announced a series of initiatives to promote cooperation betweenChina and the Pacific Island Countries. They include the maintenance ofhigh-level visits, assistance to the Pacific Island Countries in the realizationof Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), increase of the number ofChinese Government scholarships, assistance in environmental protectionand sustainable development projects and the mitigation of negative impactof climate change, and etc..Furthermore, China is willing to work withother stakeholders within and outside of the region to promote sustainabledevelopment in the South Pacific.

The purpose ofthe visit by H.E. Mr Wu Bangguo is to consolidate friendship,strengthen mutual-trust, expand common ground and deepen cooperationbetween China and Fiji. It will have profound and long-lasting impact onChina's relations with Fiji as well as with other countries in the region. Wehave every reason to believe that with concerted efforts from both sides,China and Fiji will further promote the sound development of our bilateralrelations and thus make contribution to regional stability and prosperity.

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