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Tonga’s Prime Minister meets PRC Vice Premier Wang Yang

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11 November 2013  Guangzhou, CHINA: China’s Vice Premier of the State Council Wang Yang attended the opening ceremony of the 2nd China-Pacific Island Countries Economic Development and Cooperation Forum in Guangzhou on November 8, where he met with Tonga’s Prime Minister, Lord Tu’ivakano and other Pacific leaders.

In his opening address, the Vice Premier told Pacific Leaders that the Forum is an opportunity to push forward relations between the People’s Republic of China and Pacific countries - and pledged for China to continue to support and assistance to the Pacific nations. The Vice Premier announced that China will provide concessional loan of up to 1 billion USD dollars to Pacific Island nations to support major project construction –in infrastructure construction, offering 2,000 scholarships over the next four years to help Pacific island nations train talents, continuing to build medical facilities, sending medical teams to the countries, and providing medical equipment and medicine.

Pacific Islands Forum leaders delivered reciprocal statements in response to Vice Premier Wang Yang’s opening address. The Prime Minister’s address reflected on the fifteen years’ milestone of good, warm, stable and fruitful relations enjoyed between Tonga and China since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1998.  Lord Tu’ivakano described the joint efforts of the two governments and people to be based on mutual respect, close cooperation and friendship – which have developed well, with increasing multifaceted exchanges between the two countries, fields of cooperation getting widened, and mutual beneficial cooperation in many development sectors reaching great achievements.

The Vice Premier told the Forum that, “China will expand mutually beneficial cooperation in forestry, fishery, agriculture, infrastructure, transportation, communication and energy, and increase imports of competitive products from island countries. China will support the agricultural development of the PIC, enhance produce-processing and trade cooperation and build cooperative projects such as demonstration farms.” 

Lord Tu’ivakano supported this statement by highlighting that, “Agriculture continues to be the mainstay of Tonga’s economy and this is an area Tonga is interested in a joint venture – as China offers unique characteristics and practices to agriculture.”

In other areas, China pledged to prioritize the Pacific islands’ concerns on climate change and sustainable development, and foster new growth points in clean energy and maritime science. “China will support the island countries' efforts on environmental protection and build them an array of green energy projects, including solar, hydropower and methane – is willing to conduct cooperation on green development to improve the islands’ ability to cope with climate change,” stated the Vice Premier.

Lord Tu’ivakano said that while the Forum is held concurrently with the 3rd China International Green Creation Technology Product Expo – “Tonga is very interested in low carbon technologies and renewable energy sources, not only from an economic development perspective, but also as a matter of survival. The Majuro Declaration –is the Pacific’s collective fight to be heard in the international agenda – and Tonga hope to learn a lot from the 3rd Green Technology Expo – to be exposed to ideas and developments that will allow itself to progress economically without destroying the environment,” 

“Tonga joins other Pacific islands in supporting the promotion of the Green Revolution - more appropriately seen as the Green/Blue economic transformation, to include the world’s oceans, including our Pacific Ocean, in the mitigating, restorative and development measures that encourages man and societies to live in harmony with nature,” added His Lordship.

Another area that both China and the Pacific have great potential of cooperation is cultural exchanges – and the encouragement of more Chinese nationals to travel to the Pacific and strengthen tourism cooperation. Lord Tu’ivakano agreed that, “Cultural exchanges need to be further enhanced -encourage the establishment of more people to people friendship societies as a vehicle of good will, mutual respect and mutual understanding.”
In his concluding statement, Tonga’s Prime Minister joined other leaders in reaffirming Tonga’s adherence to the one-China policy and thanked China for the long-term support in the development of the Kingdom. 
Since the first Forum, China has contributed immensely to Tonga’s economic, social, educational, sports and cultural development.

ENDS


Issued by the: The Prime Minister's Office, P.O. Box 62, Nuku'alofa, Tonga. Tel: (676) 24 644 Fax: (676) 23 888; Media enquiries: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 12 November 2013 09:31 )  

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