Joint Statement of China-Pacific Island Countries Foreign Ministers' Meeting

2021-10-21 22:54

On 21 October 2021, the People's  Republic of China and Pacific Island Countries with which it has diplomatic  relations held the first foreign ministers' meeting via video link. The meeting  was chaired by State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi of China and  attended by President and Foreign Minister Taneti Maamau of Kiribati, Prime  Minister and Foreign Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama of Fiji, Prime Minister  Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa of Tonga, Premier and Foreign Minister Dalton Tagelagi of  Niue, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Trade Soroi Eoe of Papua  New Guinea, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and External  Trade Marc Ati of Vanuatu, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Kandhi Elieisar of  Federated States of Micronesia and Minister of Foreign Affairs and External  Trade Jeremiah Manele of Solomon Islands. Secretary General of the Pacific  Islands Forum Henry Puna attended the meeting upon invitation. All parties at  the meeting had an in-depth exchange of views and reached important consensus on  the relationship between China and Pacific Island Countries, fight against  COVID-19, exchanges and cooperation in various fields, international and  regional issues and other topics of shared interest.

1. All parties reviewed the  development of the relationship between China and Pacific Island Countries since  Chinese President Xi Jinping met with leaders of Pacific Island Countries having  diplomatic relations with China in 2018. All parties agreed that their  comprehensive strategic partnership featuring mutual respect and common  development has steadily deepened and cooperation in various fields has produced  fruitful outcomes, promoting the prosperity of the Pacific islands region and  the well-being of the peoples of China and Pacific Island Countries.

2. Pacific Island Countries  conveyed warm congratulations on the centenary of the Communist Party of China  (CPC) and spoke highly of the great achievements in national construction made  by the Chinese people under the leadership of the CPC. The Chinese side  expressed gratitude and reaffirmed that it will, as always, firmly support the  endeavors of the people of Pacific Island Countries for a better life.

3. All parties agreed that all  countries, regardless of their size, strength and wealth, are equals. All  parties advocate peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom,  which are the common values of humanity, and the building of a community with a  shared future for mankind.

4. All parties reaffirmed respect  for each other's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, support  for each other's people in independently choosing a development path suited to  their national conditions, and mutual understanding and support on issues  involving each other's core interests and major concerns. Pacific Island  Countries reaffirmed that they firmly abide by the one-China principle and  stressed the importance of upholding the principle of non-interference of  internal affairs in international relations.

5. All parties agreed to enhance  high-level exchanges and interactions at all levels, expand exchanges and  cooperation between governments, legislatures and political parties, strengthen  exchange of governance experience, and steadily increase mutual understanding  and political mutual trust. All parties agreed to establish a mechanism of  regular meetings between foreign ministers of China and Pacific Island  Countries.

6. All parties spoke positively  of their cooperation against COVID-19 since coronavirus struck. Pacific Island  Countries commended China's major strategic achievements in containing the  virus, and thanked China for actively providing medical supplies, vaccines, and  financial support. China commended Pacific Island Countries for taking proactive  and effective measures to control the spread of COVID-19 in the region, and  expressed gratitude for their invaluable support to China's fight against the  virus. All parties reaffirmed that they will strengthen cooperation against  COVID-19 and work for a community of health for all. China announced that it  will establish a China-Pacific Island Countries reserve of emergency  supplies.

All parties underscored the need  to make vaccines a public good and expressed opposition to any attempt to  obstruct vaccine cooperation. China stands ready to continue to provide vaccines  to Pacific Island Countries in need and contribute to achieving vaccine  accessibility and affordability in Pacific Island Countries.

All parties shared the view that  origins tracing of COVID-19 is an issue of science and a global task which  should be and can only be undertaken by scientists around the world through  joint research.

7. All parties agreed on the need  to steer global development toward a new stage of balanced, coordinated and  inclusive growth, speed up the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable  Development, pursue more robust, greener and more balanced global development,  and build a global community of development with a shared future. Pacific Island  Countries welcomed the Global Development Initiative proposed by President Xi  Jinping at the general debate of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly and  expressed readiness to support and join this important initiative to ensure  alignment with the Pacific Roadmap for sustainable development and the 2050  Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent. All parties emphasized that they will  step up cooperation in various areas under the framework of the Belt and Road  Initiative to realize common development. China announced that it will establish  a China-Pacific Island Countries poverty reduction and development cooperation  center and hold, within this year, a China-Pacific Island Countries fisheries  cooperation and development forum.

8. China stated that it will  continue to support and assist Pacific Island Countries as it can in economic  development and livelihood improvement. Pacific Island Countries thanked China  for its longstanding and selfless assistance, and pointed out that China's  assistance has played an important role in promoting economic and social  development of Pacific Island Countries. All parties called on the international  community to provide more technological, financial and humanitarian support to  Pacific Island Countries to help them achieve independent and sustainable  development.

9. All parties agreed to continue  to strengthen exchanges and cooperation in such fields as education, culture,  health and sports and between social groups such as the media, women and  religious communities, and expand subnational interactions and cooperation. All  parties supported China in hosting the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic  Winter Games, opposed the politicization of sports, and called on the  international community to jointly safeguard the sound development of sports  across the world.

10. All parties agreed that it is  important to promote the practice of true multilateralism, abide by the purposes  and principles of the UN Charter, uphold the international system with the UN at  its core and the international order based on international law, and work  together for a new type of international relations. All parties agreed to step  up communication and collaboration in the UN and other multilateral institutions  on major topics such as implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable  Development, reform of the UN Security Council and response to climate change,  with a view to jointly safeguarding the common interests of developing  countries.

11. All parties agreed to enhance  maritime cooperation, support the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent,  work for a blue partnership, and jointly promote sustainable marine development.  All parties emphasized that ocean environment protection is of vital importance  to the people's health and safety as well as sustainable economic development of  the Pacific Island Countries, called on relevant country to prudently handle the  issue of discharging Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS) treated water into  the ocean, and have full consultation with stakeholders and relevant  international agencies. All parties reaffirmed their firm position of upholding  the international non-proliferation regime with the Treaty on the  Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as its cornerstone and the South Pacific  Nuclear Free Zone, and called on the relevant parties to fulfill treaty  obligations and promote regional peace and stability.

12. All parties shared the view  that climate change is a major challenge facing humanity and are committed to  jointly promoting the full and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement  and a fair and equitable system of global climate governance for win-win  cooperation. China understands the special difficulties of Pacific Island  Countries in tackling climate change, and will set up a China-Pacific Island  Countries climate action cooperation center and continue to assist Pacific  Island Countries as it can in enhancing capacity building to tackle climate  change under the framework of South-South cooperation.