Samoa China links continue to grow

By Wang Xuefeng 30 September 2018, 12:00AM

Wang Xuefeng 

China’s Ambassador to Samoa 

Remarks at reception to celebrate the 69th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China

Tonight, we gather here for the joyous occasion in celebrating the 69th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. 

First of all, on behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Samoa, I would like to express my warm welcome and heartfelt thanks to all the distinguished guests for your gracious presence. I would also like to extend my sincere festival greetings to my Chinese compatriots as well as all the Chinese friends who are currently working here in Samoa, including all engineers, technicians, medical doctors and Chinese volunteers.’

This year marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up.

Through 40 years of hard work, China’s reform and opening-up had made world-renowned achievements. The livelihood of the Chinese people have been significantly improved.  More than 700 million people in China have been lifted out of poverty. China has become the second largest economy, and its contribution to world economic growth is over 30%.  In the future, the door of China’s opening-up will not close but will open even wider.

 Last October, the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China was successfully convened, outlining China’s development targets and policies for different periods ranging from now to 2020, to 2035 and the middle of the century. 

The Congress marks a new era for socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era, the Chinese people are working as one for the new achievements of the country’s economic and social development by surmounting all the challenges and difficulties ahead.

In the first half of the year, China’s economy expanded by 6.8% staying within the medium-high growth range of 6.7-6.9% for 12 quarters in a row. In the first eight months of this year, over 10 million urban jobs were created and the surveyed urban employment rate was kept at a relatively low level of around 5%.

Over 18,000 new companies are set up on an average day.  On the whole, the Chinese economy has stayed on the track of stead progress, with new growth drivers and sound fundamentals.

This is year, China successfully hosted the Annual Meeting of Bo’ao Forum for Asia, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit and the Summit of the Forum on China-African Cooperation.  In November, China is also going to host the first International Expo in Shanghai.  Through hosting these important international events, China is contributing its wisdom and strength to help build a new type of international relations and the community of shared future for mankind.

In the past one year, we have witnessed with great pleasure the constant development of China-Samoa relations, and deepening mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples.  There have been frequent high level visits between China and Samoa.

Last week, I accompanied the Hon. Prime Minister Tuilaepa on his visit to China for the World Economic Forum.  The visit was successful and fruitful.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa met with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang respectively.  During the meetings, they discussed ways to further deepen China-Samoa friendship and promote bilateral practical cooperation in various fields. The two sides signed the MOU of Cooperation for the Belt and Road Initiative.

In November this year, the Samoan Government will send a delegation to participate in the First China International Import Expo in Shanghai to promote Samoa’s export of agricultural, fishery and handicraft products to China, as well as tourism so that more Chinese tourists could experience Samoa’s beautiful scenery and the rich and colourful tradition and culture.

Since the beginning there have been gratifying results in terms of exchanges and cooperation in all fields between China and Samoa.  In May, the upgrading project of the Faleolo International Airport fully funded by a concessional loan from the Chinese Government was successfully completed. Samoa now has one of the best and most   modern international airports in the Pacific Islands region.

In June, the 15th Chinese comprising of six highly experienced Chinese doctors arrived in Samoa, providing medical services to the people in Samoa during their 2-year tenure here. Currently they are serving the Samoa public with their expertise as well as engaging in clinical exchanges and training with their local counterparts.  Phase Four of the China Samoa Agricultural Technical Cooperation Project and Phase 7 of the Technical Cooperation of the Aquatic Centre and Apia Park Stadium has been in smooth progress.

The Chinese Government will actively support Samoa’s hosting of the 2019 Pacific Games.

In September the ground breaking ceremonies were held for the projects of the new construction of the Sports Complex, as well as renovations of the Apia Park Stadium and Aquatic Centre. 

The Chinese Government will provide sports equipment and vehicles to Samoa for free and help train Samoan athletes and chefs in China.

China will also send technicians and experts to provide technical support for the firework display and mass games during the opening and closing ceremonies.

The Chinese Government has also agreed to build the Samoa Police Academy.  The design phase has just been completed and the construction will begin next year.

China and Samoa have also deepened cultural and people to people exchange cooperation.

The Chinese volunteer teachers and science teachers sent by the Chinese Government have been teaching in the primary schools, colleges and NUS.

On 10th September, the Confucius Institute was officially launched at the NUS, serving as an important platform for enhancing mutual understanding and cultural exchanges.   This year all together 22 Samoan youths have won Chinese Government funded scholarships to study in China. More than 200 Samoan nationals from Government and Private Sector travelled to China for training in wide-ranging fields such as education, sports, health, information technology, public management and catering.

In October China will send experts to Samoa for the Second Training Course on Creative Crafts and Sewing Skills for 100 Samoan women in five villages.

What’s more, there are plentiful highlights for the exchanges and cooperation between Guangdon Provincial Government and Samoa.

In March, the Huizhou Municipal Government of Guangdon Province donated 16 audio-visual platforms for eight Samoa colleges.

In May, ground breaking ceremonies were held for the Apia Friendship Park and Cultural Centre projects.

These two projects will begin construction soon.

In early September, five eye doctors from China’s Zhongshan Ophthalmology Centre in Zhongshan University came to Samoa on the “Bright Journey Medical Mission” for the 4th year in a row and provided free cataract surgeries to 68 Samoan patients in two days.

Last week, 11 teachers and students from Samoa College went to Guangdon Province of China on the exchange visit in Hua Luogeng Middle School in Huizhou City, there sister school in China.

Next month more than 1,000 students from primary schools and colleges and university students will be awarded ‘Huizhou Friendship Scholarship’ fully funded by Huizhou Municipal Government.

Ladies and gentlemen, every little achievement in the China-Samoa friendship could not have been made without the joint efforts of leaders and peoples of both countries.  On this auspicious and happy occasion of the National Day of China, I wish to extend my warmest regards to the friendly Samoan people. I also wish to extend my great appreciation to the Samoa Government and people for their sincere friendship and firm support to the Chinese Government and her people.

Just as President Xi Jinping pointed out in his meeting with Prime Minister Tuilaepa last week, “Samoa was one of the first Pacific Island countries that established diplomatic relations with China.  The Chinese side cherishes the traditional friendship with Samoa and appreciates the country’s firm and long standing adherence to The One China Principle.  China will continue supporting Samoa’s efforts to develop the economy and improve people’s livelihoods, and China stands ready to expand practical cooperation with Samoa under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.”

Ladies and gentlemen,

I invite you all to join me in raising your glasses to propose a toast,

To the 69th anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China,

To the long-lasting China-Samoa friendship,

To the prosperity and happiness of all the people,

To the good health of all distinguish guests,

Manuia. Cheers. Faafetai tele lava and Thank You.

By Wang Xuefeng 30 September 2018, 12:00AM

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