China – Pacific Island Countries Political Leadership Dialogue Held via Video Link
2021-06-01 07:11

On May 28, 2021, the China-Pacific Island Countries Political Leadership Dialogue was held via video link with the theme “Working Together to Build Consensus Across the Ocean and Pursue Shared Development.”Attending the Dialogue were Hon. Bob Loughman, President of Vanua’aku Pati and Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Hon. Johnny Koanapo Nies Rasou, Secretary General of VP and Minister of Finance and Economic Management, and political party and government representatives of other Pacific island countries including Federated States of Micronesia, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Kiribati, Somoa, Fiji and Cook Islands. H.E. Song Tao, Minister of the International Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee (IDCPC), H.E. Zhou Haicheng, Chinese Ambassador to Vanuatu, and Mr. Ye Zhenqin, Member of the Standing Committee of CPC Guangdong Provincial Committee were present.

Minister Song Tao read out a message from H.E. Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee and President of China to Pacific leaders.

Pacific leaders congratulated CPC on its 100th anniversary and hailed CPC’s role in China’s progress and development, vowing to enhance intra-party mutual learning and exchanges. They also applauded the Belt and Road initiative and championed the vision of building a shared community of China and Pacific island countries.

In a pre-recorded video message, Hon. Loughman extended congratulations to Genral Secretary Xi Jinping for his exemplary leadership and vision through the Belt and Road Initiative to build a community with a shared future for mankind. Hon. Loughman pointed out that China’s friendship with the Pacific family has been a long and enduring one, and has been founded on sincerity and mutual respect and collaboration for mutual benefit. China and Pacific island countries' common interests and cooperation basis have expanded under new circumstances, he stressed.

Hon. Loughman reiterated that the Pacific island countries and China must strive to ensure and support one another to safeguard fairness and justice, emphasizing Vanuatu’s adherence to the one-China policy and thanking China for its long-term support with no political strings attached. He expressed Vanuatu Government’s commitment to working closely with the Government and people of the People’s Republic of China for a collective way forward in the COVID-19 Pandemic environment, social-economic recovery and seeking new practicable sustainable development pathways. He said that Vanuatu is ready to upgrade its participation in the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative and strengthen cooperation with China in extensive areas. He appreciated the leading role of China in global sustainable development, tackling COVID-19 Pandemic challenges and climate change. Vanuatu is eager to join hands with China and other Pacific family members to explore ways and means to build a China – Pacific Island Countries Community with a shared future, he concluded.

Hon. Koanapo said, Vanuatu’s enduring recognition of the one-China policy is at the cornerstone of Vanuatu’s foreign policy. “We are brothers working together, shoulder to shoulder – for the common good of our two countries, our wider Pacific region and the globe.

Mr. Koanapo reaffirmed Vanuatu’s commitment to placing multilateralism pivotal towards managing a fair and equitable international order, and defending a global system that upholds the UN Charter and all its manifestations, which respects national sovereignty of all countries, and the democratization of global governing systems. He also highlighted Vanuatu’s desire to continually collaborate with China and like-minded countries in embracing true democracy across global platforms.

Mr. Koanapo went on to say, “Our common resolve in the wider Pacific Ocean is for a Continent that becomes a region of peace, harmony, social inclusion, and increased prosperity. Our relationship with China is an indispensable one, one that will only grow from strength to strength, and which evolves into this deep comprehension of China’s solutions for the future. ”

In his keynote speech, Minister Song Tao said, China is willing to work with Pacific island countries to strengthen the alignment of development strategies, upgrade the construction of the Belt and Road initiative, strengthen cooperation in such areas as trade, investment, fishery, maritime affairs, tourism, health and education capacity building and infrastructure construction and cooperate closely in international and regional affairs to better benefit the people of all countries.

Song said, CPC wishes to work with all political parties in Pacific island countries to deepen strategic mutual trust, strengthen the exchange of experiences in governance, discuss major plans for development, and promote the establishment of a community with a shared future for China and Pacific island countries that are equal, mutually beneficial, win-win and shared. “We will safeguard international fairness and justice and the rights and interests of developing countries, better promote South-South cooperation, and make greater contributions to promoting world peace and development and human progress,” he emphasized.

Participants had an in-depth exchange of views on two sub-themes, “Building a China-Pacific Island Countries Community with a Shared Future with Combined Political Wisdom” and “Opening a New Chapter in China-Pacific Island Countries Cooperation with Combined Political Strength.”

In face of changes unseen in a century which is compouned by the devastating pandemic, participants in the dialogue lashed at the resurgence of unilateralism and were firmly against the headwinds of power politics. They called for solidarity over divide, openness over isolation and cooperation over confrontation in a bid to jointly tackle global problems, including coping with climate change and fighting against COVID-19.