Working Together for a Brighter Tomorrow of the China-Fiji Community with a Shared Future—Written Speech delivered by H.E. Ambassador Zhou Jian upon arrival
2023-01-31 18:44

On the occasion of the Chinese Lunar New Year, it is a great pleasure for me to arrive in Fiji, the "Pearl of the Pacific ", to serve as the 14th Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People's Republic of China to the Republic of Fiji. First of all, on behalf of the Chinese government and the Chinese Embassy in Fiji, I would like to extend my sincere greetings and New Year wishes to the brotherly Fijian people!

When I was a middle school student, I knew Fijiis a beautiful country. Gradually, I learned that Fiji not only has beautiful scenery, but also kind people and splendid culture. What impressed me the most is that Fiji is a leading country in international and regional affairs and has served as the President of the United Nations General Assembly and the United Nations Climate Change Conference. It has actively spoken out in response to climate change and natural disasters, and has made efforts to protect the rights and interests of Small Island States.Fiji is also an important contributor to international peacekeeping operations. Since 1970, Fiji has more UN peacekeepers per capita than any other Member State, making great contributions to the noble cause of world peace and security. Fiji is alsoa leader of rugby. It won the championship in one fell swoop in the Rio Olympics and achieved the consecutive championship in the Tokyo Olympics, demonstrating a fighting spirit of the Fijian people to surpass themselves. I am looking forward to assimilating into Fijian society as soon as possible, stepping into rural communities, understanding local customs, feeling the diverse culture, and learning the valuable experience of Fijian people living in harmony with nature.

Among the Pacific Island Countries(PICs), Fiji enjoys the longest history, the earliest diplomatic ties and the most solid cooperation with China. As early as more than 160 years ago, the Chinese traveled across thevast ocean to Fiji and became an important part of Fiji's multi-ethnic society, making positive contributions to Fiji's economic and social development.Since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1975, China and Fiji have always respected and supported each other for mutual benefit and win-win outcomes, setting a model of equal treatment, solidarity and cooperation among big and small countries. In November 2018, Chinese President Xi Jinping met in Papua New Guinea with leaders or government representatives of the PICs that have diplomatic relations with China and unanimously agreed to elevate China-PICs relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership featuring mutual respect and common development, creating a new situation of all round cooperation between China and Fiji.In recent years, with the Belt and Road Initiative as the platform and the Global Development Initiative as the guide, the two sides have deepened cooperation in economy, trade, investment, infrastructure, people-to-people and sub-national exchanges, supported each other on issues concerning mutual core interests and had close coordination on international and regional issues, brought tangible benefits to the two countries and the two peoples, and played an important role in the development and prosperity of this region and the harmony and stability of the world. China-Fiji relations have become the banner of China's relations with PICs and a benchmark for South-South cooperation.

Last year, the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) was successfully convened. An ambitious blueprint has been drawn for building a modern socialist country in all respects and advancing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization. This March, China will elect a new government leadership. Fiji’s new government has taken office and is working with other PICs towards the goal of the "2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent". China-Fiji relations are standing at a new historical starting point.One day ago, I set off from Beijing, where the spring is sprouting, andat this moment, I arrived in Suva, where the summer is scorching. Nature enlightens me in its unique waythat as long as we sow the seeds of hope in spring and cultivate them in summer, we will be able to reap abundant harvest and joy in autumn.China and Fiji are facing the same task of development, and both are committed to improving the well-being of the people. The two sides share profound friendship, similar culture, complementary economy, and the potential forour cooperationis huge. I am full of confidence in the prospects of China-Fiji relations.

This year is the Year of the Rabbit in China, which symbolizes agility, purity, kindness, peace and beauty. Hon. Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka also hoped that this year is focused on self-reflection, the prospects or possibility for prosperity, and peace. It is expected that China and Fiji, like the Yutu (jade rabbit), will leverage each other's ingenuity and wisdom, act with the agility of time and under the strategic guidance of the leaders of the two countries, carry forward the traditional friendship, accelerate the synergy of development strategies, listen to the demands of the two peoples, so as to jointly draw the latest and most beautiful picture for China-Fiji relationsand create a brighter tomorrow for the China-Fiji community with a shared future.