Samoa signs bilateral agreements with China

By Adel Fruean 28 May 2022, 3:35PM

Samoa and China signed three bilateral agreements on Saturday during a 16-hour visit to Apia by China's State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

The Foreign Minister is currently on a tour of Pacific Island nations that have bilateral relations with China and flew into Samoa at 9.45pm Friday on a charter flight after a four-hour stopover in Kiribati and prior to that the Solomon Islands. 

According to a joint statement that was issued 2.46pm Saturday (local time) by the two Governments, Mr Yi was accompanied on the visit to Samoa by senior officials from China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Commerce and the China International Development Cooperation Agency.

The Head of Delegation paid a courtesy call on His Highness Tuimaleali’ifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II at his official residence Vailele on Saturday morning. 

This was then followed by a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mataafa, who is also Samoa's Foreign Minister and Mr Yi and his delegation at the Samoa Tourism Authority (S.T.A.) Fale in Apia.

Also present at the meeting was the Deputy Prime Minister, Tuala Tevaga Ponifasio, C.E.O. for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Peseta Noumea Simi and the C.E.O. for the Ministry of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Agafili Shem Leo. 

In the joint statement, the two Governments said the open environment and natural surroundings provided a fitting setting in view of Samoa's existing COVID-19 situation and the precautionary measures that the local authorities are encouraging to prevent further infection. 

"The bilateral discussions on Saturday was aimed to strengthening diplomatic relations between China and Samoa, which is marking its 47th year this year alongside Samoa’s 60th independence anniversary," reads the joint statement.

"The meeting covered issues of mutual interest and concern including key regional priorities such as climate change, the pandemic and peace and security. 

"China is a key development partner for Samoa providing infrastructural developments in the health, education and public administration sectors, human resource development, sports development and technical cooperation in the agriculture sector.

"Key to the bilateral relations between China and Samoa is the adherence to the one China principle."

The culmination of the bilateral discussions concluded with the signing of a Economic & Technical Cooperation Agreement for projects to be determined and mutually agreed between the respective countries, added the joint statement. 

The signing ceremony also included the handover certificate for the completed Arts and Culture Centre, the Samoa–China Friendship Park and the exchange of letters for a fingerprint laboratory for the Ministry of Police which is complementary to the construction of the Police Academy. 

“Samoa and the People’s Republic of China will continue to pursue greater collaboration that will deliver on joint interests and commitments, and address key priorities that are in line with Samoa’s Pathway for the Development of Samoa,” reads the statement.    

The State Councillor and his delegation departed the Faleolo International Airport for Fiji after 1pm Saturday (local time) to conclude their 16-hour visit.                                                       

By Adel Fruean 28 May 2022, 3:35PM
Samoa Observer

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