Wang Yi Chairs First China-Pacific Island Countries Foreign Ministers' Meeting

2021-10-21 22:00

On October 21, 2021, the first  China-Pacific Island Countries (PICs) Foreign Ministers' Meeting was held via  video link. The meeting was chaired by State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang  Yi. President and Foreign Minister Taneti Maamau of Kiribati, Prime Minister and  Foreign Minister of Fiji Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Tonga  Pohiva Tu'I'onetoa, Niue's Premier and Foreign Minister Dalton Tagelagi, Foreign  Minister of Papua New Guinea Soroi Eoe, Foreign Minister of Vanuatu Mark Ati,  Foreign Minister of the Federated States of Micronesia Kandhi A. Elieisar,  Foreign Minister of the Solomon Islands Jeremiah Manele, representative of  Samoa's Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Strickland, and Secretary General of  the Pacific Islands Forum Henry Puna attended the meeting.

Wang Yi said, President Xi  Jinping held the collective meeting with leaders of the PICs having diplomatic  ties with China in November 2018. They agreed to establish a comprehensive  strategic partnership based on mutual respect and common development, which  heralded the new era of all-round cooperation. The relations between China and  PICs have set an example of friendly exchanges, solidarity and cooperation for  countries in different regions and with different sizes, and systems.

Wang Yi said, the growing  relations between China and PICs are based on mutual respect and equal  treatment, fight against challenges with solidarity, win-win cooperation and  common development as well as mutual understanding and mutual learning. China is  willing to work with PICs to seize opportunities, cooperate in good faith, and  jointly build a closer comprehensive strategic partnership.

First, deepen policy  communication. On issues concerning each other's core interests and major  concerns, both sides should continue to understand and support each other,  maintain national sovereignty and dignity, safeguard legitimate development  rights and interests, and jointly achieve national rejuvenation. We need to  establish a regular meeting mechanism of foreign ministers of China and  PICs.

Second, deepen cooperation  against the pandemic. China will continue to provide PICs with vaccines and  anti-pandemic supplies to the PICs, set up the China-PICs emergency supplies  reserve, and inject additional funds to China-Pacific Island Countries  Anti-COVID-19 Cooperation Fund. We should jointly resist politicizing the  pandemic, using origin-tracing as a tool, and labeling the virus, and ensure the  smooth progress of international anti-pandemic cooperation.

Third, boost economic recovery.  We need to form a synergy of the Global Development Initiative, and strive to  achieve the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development earlier. China will  follow the principle of upholding justice and pursuing shared interests, work  with PICs for high-quality BRI cooperation, and continue to provide economic and  technological assistance to PICs with no political strings attached. China will  hold China-Pacific Island Countries Fishery Cooperation and Development Forum  this year, and set up the China-Pacific Island Countries Poverty Alleviation and  Cooperative Development Center to help PICs speed up independent and sustainable  development.

Fourth, jointly address  challenges. China is committed to the full implementation of the Paris  Agreement, and promoting new progress of adaption and financing issues that  developing countries are concerned about. China decides to set up the  China-Pacific Island Countries Climate Change Cooperation Center, supports PICs'  initiative of Blue Pacific, and continues to fund the South Pacific Regional  Environment Programme. China calls on the prudent handling of the disposal of  nuclear contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan in an  open, transparent and responsible manner, and no discharge is allowed before  reaching consensus with all stakeholders.

Fifth, expand people-to-people  exchanges. We need to strengthen exchanges and cooperation in areas such as  education, culture, health and sports. China will continue to provide PICs with  government scholarships, support the Secretariat of the Pacific Tourism  Organization, and encourage China's provinces and cities to increase  public-benefit cooperation with PICs.

Sixth, practice multilateralism.  We need to uphold humanity's common values of peace, development, fairness,  justice, democracy and freedom, maintain the international system with the UN at  the core and the international order based on international law, and safeguard  the common interests of developing countries. The nuclear submarine cooperation  among the United States, Britain and Australia will create risks of nuclear  proliferation, undermine the South Pacific Nuclear-Free Zone Treaty, cause arms  race, and jeopardize regional peace and stability. China will work with PICs to  jointly safeguard the international non-proliferation system and the South  Pacific Nuclear-Free Zone with the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear  Weapons as the cornerstone.

Wang Yi emphasized, China is  willing to, with the vision of building a community with a shared future for  mankind, assist the PICs in accelerating independent development and delivering  common revitalization. As long as we pool our efforts, the comprehensive  strategic partnership between China and PICs will herald a better future, which  will bring more benefits to the people of both sides.

Representatives of the PICs  generally believed that the meeting is timely and significant, and support the  institutionalization of the foreign ministers' meeting. All parties thank China  for its long-term selfless assistance and support for the development of the  PICs, extend congratulations on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the  Communist Party of China, reiterate the firm upholding of the one-China policy,  and support China in safeguarding its core interests. All parties support the  Global Development Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping, and hope to  increase governance experience sharing with China and deepen Belt and Road  cooperation, elevating the comprehensive strategic partnership to a new level.  All parties speak highly of China's commitment to making vaccines a global  public good, and are willing to work with China to strengthen solidarity in  fighting against the pandemic, enhance communication and coordination on global  issues such as upholding multilateralism and climate change response, and  safeguard the common interests of developing countries.

The meeting also put forth and  focused on the discharge of the nuclear contaminated water, and reiterated the  commitment to maintaining the international non-proliferation system and the  South Pacific Nuclear-Free Zone.