Ambassador Wang Xuefeng will miss sincerity, warmth of Samoa
Goodbyes are difficult. But China’s Ambassador to Samoa, Wang Xuefeng, and his Good lady, Madam Ton Xin, are leaving Samoa with many fond memories, honour and pride.
Having fulfilled their duty to enhance the bilateral relationship between China and Samoa during their three-year tenure, Mr. Wang will not forget Samoa in a hurry. The feeling is mutual among Samoans, especially the ones whom they have had contact with during their time here.
“Two months ago, we already knew that we would leave Samoa for good, but it’s been hard for us to break the news to many of our dear Samoan friends earlier, and it is as hard for us to say goodbye to beautiful Samoa,” a tearful Mr. Wang told the audience on Friday night at Vailima.
Mr. Wang’s farewell, and the celebration of the Chinese New Year, was well attended. Among the guests were the Head of State, His Highness Tuimaleali’ifano Va’aletoa Sualauvi II, former Head of State, His Highness Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi and Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi.
Speaking about the bilateral relationship between Samoa and China, Mr. Wang said this has become even stronger during his time, given the regular interactions between Prime Minister Tuilaepa and China’s President, Ji Xingping.
“Samoa has consistently in its strong stand on the One China policy and we are proud to see that Samoa is one of the first Pacific Island countries to join China’s “Belt and Road” cooperation,” he said (read Mr. Wang’s full speech on page 11).
“China sincerely appreciates the firm support on many major issues in international arena from the government of Samoa. Furthermore, China and Samoa have been engaging in excellent cooperation at both international and regional levels in addressing climate change.”
But it’s the personal memories that Mr. Wang will find hard to forget.
“We couldn’t help recalling all the beautiful memories during our over three years’ stay in Samoa --- the broad and sunny smiles and cheerful greetings of “Nihao” in Chinese from Samoan people when we drove on the roads on both the islands of Upolu and Savaii,” he said.
“The pure sincerity and the warmth of friendship extended to us through their beautiful dancing and singing or even just the bright smiles of many villagers, young and old, men and women, that touched our hearts when we had the opportunities to reach out to them with any help and assistance that we have been capable of."
“The delightful talks and hearty laughs and pleasant companies that we had enjoyed and shared with our Samoan friends from all walks of life as well as our colleagues from diplomatic corps and international and regional organizations at various functions and gatherings all year round."
“Therefore, I would also like to take this opportunity to express our sincerest appreciations to all the friends that we have met in Samoa for everything you have done to make us stay in Samoa a most beautiful and precious part of our life. All good things will come to an end, like what people usually say. What we can do is to bear all the beautiful things in our mind and remember all dear friends in our hearts.”
Speaking on behalf of the people of Samoa, Prime Minister Tuilaepa thanked Mr. Wang for his work.
“I wish to take this opportunity to thank you Ambassador for your drive to strengthen Samoa China relations during your time in Samoa including your support for the official visit to China for the World Economic Forum in 2018 and the opportunities to meet and hold discussions with President Xi Jinping,” Tuilaepa said.
“We also acknowledge the High Level visits by the authorities over the years as well as facilitating ministerial visits to China and the generous hospitality extended to us all."
“I am sure that everyone here join me in extending to you our very best wishes for your next posting. It is our hope that you will take back good memories of Samoa. May you have safe travels and a safe return home.”
Mr. Wang arrived in Samoa in September 2015. The Chinese Government has yet to announce his replacement.