Ambassador Qian Bo Publishes a Signed Article Entitled “The Pacific Ocean should be the Ocean of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation”
2022-05-26 08:24

On May26, H.E. Ambassador Qian Bo published a signed article entitled The Pacific Ocean should be the Ocean of Peace, Friendship and Cooperationon the Fiji Sun. The full text of the article is as follows:

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will pay an official visit to Fiji from May 28th to 31st , 2022 and co-host the 2ndChina-Pacific Island Countries Foreign MinistersMeeting with Hon. Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Josaia V. Bainimarama.

This is State Councilor Wangs second visit to Fiji with the first one undertaken in 2018.It is also the first high-level visit of China to the South Pacific region after the outbreak of COVID-19. The visit will provide an opportunity for both sides to review previous cooperation, discuss current challenges and reconnect towards a brighter future.

Through the visit, I expect that new impetus could be injected into the cooperation between China and the Pacific Island Countries (PICs) including Fiji, thus the two sides can work closer to addresschallenges such as economic recovery, climate change and sustainable development.

l China-Fiji friendship is as broad and deep as the blue Pacific Ocean.

Fiji was the first Pacific island country to establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China. Since 47 years ago, under theguidance of our leaders, China-Fiji relations have developed tremendously and the friendship has grown vigorously and achieved fruitful results through sincere exchanges between our two peoples.

China and Fiji enjoy close high-level exchanges and unceasingly consolidated mutual trust. President Xi Jinping and PM Bainimarama have met five times, with a latest telephone conversationlast June, giving directions to our bilateral relations. The multi-level and all-round political exchanges between the two sides havebeen constantlydeepened. Fiji firmly pursues the One China Principle and supports China on issues concerning Chinas core and major interests. China has always supported Fiji in pursuing its own development path and stood firmly with the Fijian people at the most difficult time when Fiji was subjected to unreasonable sanctions by the West. The two sides have cooperated closely on international stage and shared expanding interests in addressing climate change, promoting sustainable development and maintaining peace and security, and other global challenges.

China-Fiji trade and economic cooperation has been growing continuously and the fruits have benefited both peoples.In 2021, our import and export trade reached $453 million, up 31 percent year-on-year, which is nearly 200 times of that in the early days when we set up diplomatic ties. With the help of the Belt and Road Initiative and China International Import Expo, more and more Fijian products, such as Pure Fiji, Fiji beer and Noni tea, have entered the Chinese market. Over the years, China has donated vehicles, agricultural machinery, office equipment, and anti-epidemic medical supplies, helping to build infrastructure like hospital, hydro-power station, roads, stadium and bridges, as well as implementing aid projects like rural power grid renovation, JunCao and rice planting, which greatly benefited the local people. The China-aided highway in the Northern Division shortens the time of journey from 7 hours to 2. The China-aided Stinson Parade Bridge and Vatuwaqa Bridge, known as China-Fiji Friendship Bridges, ease the traffic in Suva and promote the development of local business.

People-to-people and cultural exchanges between China and Fiji have achieved fruitful results and brought the two peoples closer. The first China cultural center and the first Confucius Institute in the South Pacific were established in Fiji. Art troupes such as Cultural China: Festival of Springstaged wonderful performances. China Tourism and Culture Week and Food Festival were also held successfully. The Chinese naval hospital ship Ark Peacevisited Fiji twice and provided humanitarian medical services to more than 10,000 Fijian patients. One patient in outer island expressed his sincere gratitude by saying that "we were so lucky to receive professional medical treatment from Chinese military doctors even without getting out of the island". Over the years, more than 200 outstanding Fijian students have been awarded the Chinese Government Scholarship and studied in China, becoming ambassadors of friendship between China and Fiji.

China helps Fiji in Tropical Cyclone relief and the two sides support each other in the fightagainst COVID-19. Fiji has been severely affected by natural disasters and climate change for years. The Chinese government and people sympathize with the suffering of the Fijian people and have done their utmost to help the affected people rebuild their homes and resume normal life. After TC Yasa and Anna, China helped many affected Fijian villagers rebuild their houses. A woman said to me with tears in her eyes, “I never imagined that my children and I would be able to live in such a nice house one day. It feels like a dreamcoming true.In the area of disaster prevention and mitigation, China has been providing assistance to Fiji with its disaster management capabilities, which includes constructing hydro-power stations and sea-walls, introducing of eco-agricultural technologies and organizing of workshops on capacity building for natural disasters. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Fiji has firmly supported China in winning the battle in the City of Wuhan. China has provided a total of 800k USD funds and millions of FJD in anti-epidemic medical supplies to Fiji. I am so happy to see that Fiji has finally overcome the challenges and been fully opened.

l Cooperation between China and the PICs is as vibrant as the tropical rain-forest.

China and the PICs are all developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region. We have been good friends who treat each other with sincerity and mutual respect, good partners who work together for development and mutual benefits, and good brothers who understand and learn from each other. China maintains that all countries are equal regardless of their sizes, respects the rights of the people in the PICs to choose their own development paths, never interfere in the PICsinternal affairs, and respects the countriesefforts in pursuing self-improvement and equal participation in international and regional affairs. Fully understanding that climate change is the single greatest challenge facing the PICs, China has been and will continue to provide assistance in this regard, while achieving the carbon peak in 2030 and carbon neutrality in 2060, so as to contribute to the global green, low-carbon and sustainable development and shoulder the responsibility as a major country.

Last October, the 1stChina-PICs Foreign MinistersMeeting was held successfully, setting up a regular meeting mechanism and reaching consensus on jointly tackling the global challenges and deepening cooperation on issues such as climate change and marine environmental protection. The meeting also achieved many outcomes like establishing the China-PICs Reserve of Emergency Supplies, Poverty Alleviation and Cooperative Development Center and Climate Action Cooperation Center.

Since the 1stChina-PICs FMM, China has taken quick actions to implement the relevant outcomes. Last December, China-PICs Reserve of Emergency Supplies was officially put into use and played a vital role in supporting Tongas relief and recovery from the volcanic eruption. The China-PICs Climate Action Cooperation Center was launched in this April. The 1stChina-PICs Forum on Fisheries Cooperation and Development was held last December. We could expect more fruitful outcomes from the 2ndChina-PICs FMM. China stands ready to continue close communication with all parties to promote the mechanism of China-PICs FMM to bring more benefits to people of all countries and create new highlights for regional cooperation.

Time tells a true friend. As Pacific countries, China and the PICs are like fertile soil and lush rainforests, which depend on each other and nourish each other. China-PICs cooperation is of mutual benefit in nature and aims at common development, and is open and transparent, with no political strings attached, not targeting any third party, and not seeking any self-interests or so-called "spheres of influence". It can stand the test of time and history.

As the Chinese Ambassador to Fiji, I have been working in Fiji for more than four years. The more time passes, the more I love Fiji and the Blue Pacific, and the more confident I become in China-Fiji friendship and the future of China-PICs cooperation. The Chinese people have always been advocating peace, friendship and cooperation. I believe that State Councilor Wangs visit will bring more tangible outcomes to the PICs including Fiji and will better benefit the people of all sides. Facing the profound and unprecedented changes in the world and the increasing global challenges, China will continue to work with the PICs, eliminating interferences, treating each other with sincerity and promoting cooperation with concrete actions, so as to jointly create a brighter future for us all.