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China's Foreign Policy and Friendly Cooperative Relationship with Papua New Guinea
2016/08/09

On 27 July, H.E. Li Ruiyou was invited to attend the Celebration of the New Ireland Day 2016 and to make a keynote speech. Hereunder is his speech.

 

27 July 2016            Konos, New Ireland

Grand Chief Sir Julius Chan, Governor of New Ireland,

Hon. Ben Micah, MP for Kavieng, and Leader of PPP

Hon. Byron Chan, MP for Namatanai, and Minister for Mining,

Hon. Titus Philemon, Governor of Milne Bay Province,

Hon. Timothy Masiu, MP for South Bougainville,

Mr. LaMiller Pawut, Provincial Administrator of N.I.

Mr. Graham Lali, President of Sentral Niu Ailan LLG,

All other Hon. Leaders and Chiefs,

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

 

Good afternoon!

It is indeed a great honour and privilege to be invited to attend this grand New Ireland Day celebration, and to be standing at this podium speaking to you!

First of all, my warmest congratulations to the New Ireland Day and to the people of the Friendly Province!

This is the first time I've put my feet on this beautiful island province. I've got very excited as I've received the warmest welcome and hospitality I've ever received.

Grand Chief Sir Julius has asked me to become a steadfast friend of New Ireland Province in his invitation letter to me. I know this is not only his good will to me, but his good wish that the friendship shall be strengthened between our two peoples. Last night I was declared "citizen of New Ireland". I'm really humbled to have received this honour. I hereby pledge that I will be a steadfast friend and good citizen of New Ireland, and will do everything I could to strengthen the friendly relationship between New Irelanders and Chinese people.

As you know there exists a traditional and special relationship between New Ireland people and Chinese people through the "kinship" of Grand Chief Sir Julius who is half Chinese. Sir Julius has contributed a great deal to maintain and promote this special relationship. With him there is a Chinese community which also has dedicated to advance this relationship. So I as an envoy of China have a firm duty of keeping and strengthening this special relationship, and make it beneficial to our two peoples.

Ladies and gentlemen,

In such circumstances as well as in my capacity, I'd like to take this opportunity to brief you on China's foreign policy and cooperative relationship with Papua New Guinea.

  • China has been implementing the independent foreign policy of peace. The aim of this policy is to secure a friendly international environment and strategic opportunities for China's peaceful development and realization of the "Chinese dream", i.e. a democratic, prosperous and strong country.

To achieve this aim, China is stepping up coordination and cooperation with major countries, and it is developing peaceful relations with her neighbours with the principle of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness.

China is committed to having dialogues rather than confrontation and forming partnership rather than alliance.

This reminds me of the PNG foreign policy-Friends to all, enemy to none.

  • One of the means of achieving the aim of China's foreign policy is win-win cooperation.

As it is known, western theories of international relations worship the law of the jungle, and the principle of winner-takes-all.

On the contrary, Chinese government has been pursuing peace, development and win-win cooperation.

China, learning from its history in the first half of last century and from its implement of the open door policy, has formed an enlightened view that every country, when pursuing its own development, should be sensitive to the interests of other countries, and strive for win-win outcomes for all.

To my knowledge, the win-win cooperation concept is similar in some way to the Melanesian social value of "share".

Thanks to the fast development of science and technology, we are faced with important opportunities never seen before. With the win-win concept in mind, all countries, strong or poor, can benefit from international and regional cooperation.

China's economic miracle started decades ago with two major policies, the reform and opening up, which have helped China become the second largest economy in the world, and contributed its part to the global economic development.

China will continue to contribute to global development and pursue an opening up strategy driven by win-win cooperation and mutual benefit. The door to China will never be closed and all countries are welcome to ride on its outcome of economic development.

For this purpose China has come up with the Belt and Road Initiative. The Belt and Road means the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

The Belt and Road construction is being advanced on the basis of wide consultation, joint contribution and shared benefit.

The Belt and Road Initiative is to inject a strong impetus to the development of the Eurasian continent and the world at large.

To supplement this initiative, China has proposed and helped set up the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a new development bank starting operation on Jan 16, 2016, with 57 founding members.

  • While opening up and contributing to the world peaceful development, China is determined to protect her sovereignty and legitimate rights.

Recently, the South China Sea issue has become a hot topic. So allow me to give you a simple explanation of the issue.

It is just some late comers who have grabbed some of the islands and reefs of China's "customary lands" in the South China Sea, and resulted in the disputes and quarrels.

The actions China has taken are legitimate reactions to safeguard her territorial sovereignty.

China will continue to take reasonable and legitimate approaches to safeguard its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests.

  • China has attached great importance to the friendly cooperative relationship with Papua New Guinea

At the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Hon. Peter O'Neill paid an official visit to China early this month.

The visit is part of the celebration of the 40th anniversary of our two countries' diplomatic ties, established in 1976.

During the visit, the leaders of the two sides had in-depth exchange of views on issues of shared interest, including the development of bilateral relations, and reached broad agreements.

The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to building the strategic partnership of mutual respect and common development and expanding exchanges and cooperation in a wide range of areas so as to deliver more benefits to both peoples.

Both China and PNG reiterated their respect for each other's sovereignty, territorial integrity.

Papua New Guinea reiterated its commitment to the one China policy.

Both countries agreed to strengthen cooperation in such areas as trade, investment, downstream processing/manufacturing, agriculture, forestry, fishery, energy, resources, civil aviation, tourism, infrastructure development, transportation and communications

China will continue to provide Papua New Guinea with economic and technical assistance to grow the economy and improve people's welfare.

China has pledged support and help to Papua New Guinea for its hosting of the 2018 APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting.

During the PM's visit, documents for bilateral cooperative projects were signed. They are:

1. Civil Aviation Agreement

2. MoU regarding the Joint Feasibility Study on a Free Trade Agreement

3. Framework Agreement for Developing Cooperation on Production Capacity

4. Agreements on the provision of soft loans for 3 infrastructure projects.

From the above we can see that the visit was very fruitful. It has brought the relationship between our two countries' to a new level.

So I'm very pleased to have witnessed the rapid progress in the bilateral relationship and economic cooperation between our two countries.

  • Papua New Guinea has become the largest trading partner and biggest investment destination for China in the Pacific Islands region.

For instance, the total trade volume of our two countries in 2015 reached 2.898 billion US dollars, an increase by 33% over the previous year.

Up to now, China has a total investment of about 2.5 billion US dollars in Papua New Guinea. The biggest investment in Pacific Islands region is the Ramu NiCo project.

The progress of our fruitful cooperation and close relationship is due to great efforts and support dedicated by people from both countries.

I'd take this opportunity to express our gratitude and render our admiration to Grand Chief Sir Julius Chan for his support and dedication to this relationship.

Our thanks also go to each and every one of you for your friendship towards Chinese people and your part of contribution to promoting the bilateral cooperation.

  • With our relationship brought to a new level, I'm delighted to see the bright future for strengthening our economic and trade cooperation.

Both Papua New Guinea and China have done quite well in social and economic development against the poor world economic situation.

Last year, Papua New Guinea's economic growth of over 9% is "among the highest in the world".

And China also managed to maintain a medium high speed of economic growth at around 7 percent which is also one of the highest in the world.

PNG is on the fast track of economic development. The demand for the infrastructure development is high.

China, with over 30 years of infrastructure development, has acquired strong production capacity, and can provide comparatively advanced technology and products at modest cost.

Therefore, I believe that the cooperation between our two countries is highly complementary and mutually beneficial.

The year 2016 is the 40th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between our two countries. Both sides have the aspiration to upgrade the bilateral relations and strengthen the cooperation.

So the potential is huge, the opportunity abundant and the future is bright.

Now I'd conclude by calling upon you:

Let's join hands together to make our cooperation bigger, our ties stronger and our countries richer.

Again warm congratulations to New Ireland Day!

And May New Ireland people achieve prosperity and peace!

Thank you!

     

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