The Chinese Embassy and PNG Government Jointly Hold a Ceremony for Celebration of 40 Years of Diplomatic Ties and the 67th China National Day as well as the Launching of China-Aided International Convention Centre
On 27 September 2016, the Chinese Embassy in Papua New Guinea and the PNG Government jointly held a ceremony in the International Convention Center (ICC) for the celebration of the 40 years of diplomatic ties between China and Papua New Guinea and for the launching of the ICC as well as to mark the 67th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. About 400 invited guests, including Right Hon. Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia, Ministers, Members of the Parliament, representatives of the diplomatic missions, officials of government departments and agencies, and dignitaries from all walks of life attended the ceremony. 200 students were also invited to join the celebration.
In his opening speech, Ambassador Li Ruiyou extended congratulations on the 40th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the Independent State of Papua New Guinea and the People's Republic of China, and offered his fraternal greetings to the Grand Launching of the International Convention Centre. He also invited the guests to join the celebration of the 67th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.
For the celebration of the 40 years of diplomatic ties, Li said that the 40 years of diplomatic ties have made the relationship between the two countries reach the maturity, and secured on the right tracks in the right direction, which is illustrated by the frequent exchanges of visits at both high-level and various levels, and demonstrated by the continuous expansion of the cooperation in various sectors of PNG's development priorities, including infrastructure, health, education, civil aviation, etc. It is further reflected by the building of the strategic partnership of mutual respect and common development.
In 40 years, particularly in recent years, China and PNG have enjoyed fast progress in bilateral trade. The volume reached 2.7 billion US dollars in 2015, a growth by 12.4 times, compared to the year 2000. By the end of last year, PNG topped any other country in the Pacific Islands region in receiving China's direct investments which totalled 496 million US dollars.
Li pointed out that the Chinese Government has also attached great importance to the economic and technical cooperation with PNG. In the last 40 years, it has provided grant aid for a number of projects, including Government Scholarships for over 300 PNG students to undertake degree studies in China.
For the launching of the PNG International Convention Centre (ICC) which is China's biggest grant aid project in the Pacific Islands countries, Li said he was proud that the Chinese Government made a right decision to build an international convention centre for PNG as PNG is in real need of such facility in its growing engagement in the world and regional affairs. The ICC is a token of friendship from the Chinese people to PNG people. It is a proof of the proverb that a friend in need is a friend indeed.
For the celebration of the celebration of the 67th birthday of the People's Republic of China, Li boasted the guests that China had made tangible progress in 67 years. The per capita GDP has reached US$ 8000, 200 times higher than that in1949 when New China was founded. Li pointed out that China's progress owes greatly to the reform and opening-door policies, with the persistence in the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. While relying heavily on the world trade for its development, China in return provides great opportunities for the world development.
Ambassador Li took this opportunity to brief the guests about the major outcomes of G20 Hangzhou summit chaired by President Xi Jinping who called on the world leaders in his opening speech to stick together as partners in meeting the challenges so as to achieve robust, sustainable, balanced and inclusive economic growth.
Li also told the guests about the fruitful outcomes of the official visit to China by PNG Prime Minister Hon. Peter O'Neill in July 2016. During the visit, President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang met with Prime Minister O'Neill, and held bilateral talks. The two sides had in-depth exchange of views on issues of shared interest, including the development of bilateral relations, and reached broad agreement, and reaffirmed their commitment to building the strategic partnership of mutual respect and common development. The leaders agreed to advance cooperation on trade and investment, education, health, civil aviation, tourism, agriculture, fisheries, climate change, and international and regional issues. 7 documents for 6 projects were signed during the visit, including the Civil Aviation Agreement and the Framework Agreement for Developing Cooperation on Production Capacity.
Minister for National Events, Sports and APEC Affairs Hon. Justin Tkatchenko read the speech at the ceremony for Prime Minister Hon. Peter O'Neill who had got sick and was not able to grace the event. In the speech he said PNG and China were now "reaching a milestone" in their bilateral relationship –celebrating 40 years of formal recognition, and the relationship between China and PNG was stronger than ever.
Cutting ribbon for launching the International Convention Centre
The speech expressed PNG people's gratitude towards China for its commitment to deliver ICC to Papua New Guinea, saying that ICC was a testament to China and PNG's friendship and a lasting monument to the success of both nations.
Congratulations were also extended in the speech on the 67th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China founded in the year 1949, and best wishes to His Excellencies President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang and gratitude for their hospitality and goodwill during his official visit to China.
Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture Hon. Tobias Kulang and Ambassador Li cut the ribbon for the launching of the ICC.
China Shenzhen Arts Troupe brought over a stage of colourful performances for the celebration. The two PNG Sing-Sing groups also performed on the occasion.