Ambassador Li Minggang Published a Signed Article “New Start, New Opportunities” on the Occasion of 41st Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between China and Vanuatu

2023-03-26 08:29

On March 25, Ambassador Li Minggang published a signed article “New Start, New Opportunities” in Vanuatu’s mainstream media Daily Post,celebrating the 41st anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Vanuatu. The article promotes the spirit of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China and the National Two Sessions, introduces in detail the achievements of practical exchanges and cooperation in various fields between China and Vanuatu in 2022, analyzes the huge potential for cooperation between the two sides, and looks forward to a bright future for the two countries. On the same day, the newspaper published a full page atlas of practical exchanges and cooperation between China and Vanuatu.

The full text of the article signed by Ambassador Li is as follows:

2022 was an extraordinary year for both China and Vanuatu. Together, we celebrated the 40th anniversary of the establishment of our diplomatic relations. And respectively, we completed our own important domestic agenda almost at the same time. The Communist Party of China (CPC) successfully convened its 20th National Congress. President Xi Jinping was re-elected General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee. This fully reflects the common will of and firm support from the whole Party and people across the country. President of Vanuatu and leaders of many Ni-Vanuatu political parties sent congratulatory letters, which showcase the high-level mutual trust and firm mutual support between our two countries.

In the Report to the 20th CPC National Congress, General Secretary Xi pointed out that China, guided by the principles of sincerity, real results, affinity, and good faith and with a commitment to the greater good and shared interests, endeavors to strengthen solidarity and cooperation with other developing countries and safeguard the common interests of the developing world. China is committed to its fundamental national policy of opening to the outside world and pursues a mutually beneficial strategy of opening up, and strives to create new opportunities for the world with its own development. The Report points out the way forward for China to open-up even further and deepen China-Vanuatu relations. I am convinced that with unity and joint efforts, China-Vanuatu comprehensive strategic partnership will continue to flourish for the benefit of our peoples.

For long, the Chinese people values history as a mirror, and learns from history to foresee the future. With the COVID-19 pandemic raging around the world in the past year, stability of the global supply and industrial chain and economic recovery of all countries including China and Vanuatu remained under serious threat. Yet in spite of these, our two countries never flinched in the face of difficulties. Instead, we stood side by side to meet the challenges.

In the past year, President Xi Jinping interacted frequently with Ni-Vanuatu leaders through letters and messages, leading sound and steady development of our bilateral relations. On March 26,  the 40th anniversary of the establishment of our diplomatic relations, President Xi pointed out that China-Vanuatu relations have become a model of mutual respect, solidarity and coordination between developing countries in his message of congratulations to President of Vanuatu. This remark not only highly commends the development of our bilateral relations for the last four decades, but also points out the direction for China to deepen its friendship with Vanuatu. In June, China’s then State Councilor and foreign minister Wang Yi successfully visited Vanuatu. During the visit both sides reached extensive consensus to enhance political mutual trust, stay committed to mutual benefit and win-win results, carry forward the friendship between the peoples, deepen strategic coordination and strengthen regional cooperation, which gave strong boost to the sustainable and healthy development of our comprehensive strategic partnership.

In the past year, China-Vanuatu practical cooperation moved forward steadily across the board. When Vanuatu was hit by COVID-19 in the first half of 2022, China extended its helping hand to Vanuatu in COVID-19 response, donated 100,000 doses of vaccines and medical supplies including ventilators, protective suit, etc., and aided the construction of a quarantine facility at Northern Provincial Hospital. We worked together towards the on-time completion of the Port Vila City Community Sports Complex and Tanna Road Phase II, and the partial handover of the Malekula Road Phase II. The new Chinese Medical Team comprised of 9 doctors have already served in Vanuatu for almost 6 months, reaching Tanna to deliver medical care to the doorstep. The China-aided office building projects of the Presidential Palace, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Finance are also progressing steadily. Furthermore, the bilateral annual trade volume has increased to nearly 100 million US dollars.

Recently, Vanuatu was hit by two consecutive super hurricanes, resulting in the destruction of a large number of residential buildings and public facilities and significant property losses. China attaches great importance to this and has launched emergency humanitarian disaster relief assistance to Vanuatu immediately. In order to quickly deliver relief materials to Vanuatu, China has provided a batch of emergency relief materials worth about 100 million vatu including tents, folding beds, first-aid kits and etc. to Vanuatu through a charter flight. At the same time, the Chinese government provided USD 500,000 in cash aid to the Vanuatu government, and the Red Cross Society of China provided USD 100,000 in cash aid to Vanuatu for the local procurement of disaster relief materials such as food, drinking water, medical supplies, and the deployment of disaster relief personnel in Vanuatu. China will continue to provide assistance within its capacity according to the needs of Vanuatu, and support the Vanuatu government and people in rebuilding their beautiful homeland at an early date.

Through solid practical cooperation mentioned above, our partnership and brotherhood is now closer than ever. Vanuatu Foreign Minister Jotham Napat recently published an official statement on China-Vanuatu relations entitled “Vanuatu, China Relations Healthy and Flourishing.” Reflecting on the healthy and stable development of bilateral relations over the past 40 years, I see the key lies in the following. Politically, we always adhere to mutual respect, trust and equality. Economically, we always strive for win-win cooperation and common development. And culturally, we always embrace openness, inclusiveness and mutual learning.

Both developing countries, China and Vanuatu share similar historical experiences. Because of this, we both highly value independence, self-reliance and self-improvement, and are both striving to meet our people’s aspirations for a better life. It has been over half a year since I arrived in Vanuatu as the new Chinese Ambassador. During this period of time, I have had multiple discussions with Vanuatu Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and other leaders, visited local communities, and been to Malekula and other islands for field trips. These experiences helped me get a more profound understanding of our huge cooperation potential and broad development prospects in agriculture, forestry, fisheries, public health, education, tourism, marine economy, infrastructure and climate change response,etc.

China recently held the annual National Two Sessions in Beijing. Held in the first year of fully implementing the spirit of the 20th CPC National Congress, they are of profound historical significance. Comrade Xi Jinping was re-elected as President of China, providing the most fundamental political guarantee for the continuation of China's policies and future development. The 2023 government work report also made it clear that China will make solid progress in advancing Chinese modernization and deepen reform and opening up in all respects. I believe that with a vast and open market, China is sure to provide even greater business opportunities for enterprises from all over the world, including Vanuatu.

This year we celebrate the 41st anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Vanuatu. China will continue to work with Ni-Vanuatu friends from all walks of life, keep our original aspiration and mission in mind, earnestly implement the consensus reached by leaders of our two countries, actively promote synergy among the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Vanuatu 2030 Sustainable Development Plan, strengthen high-quality cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative, together strive for a happier and better life for our peoples, and usher in a new chapter of mutual benefit and win-win cooperation.