Chinese Ambassador Zeng Fanhua discusses Papua New Guinea and China’s
relationship over the last 45 years and his plans, as the new ambassador, to further these ties
and strengthen China’s bond with PNG and the rest of the Pacific.
I arrived at Port Moresby’s Jackson International Airport as the new Chinese ambassador to Papua New Guinea on May 13.
After a 14-day home quarantine, I began to explore and learn about a country that is completely new to me, but full of vitality and hope and has warm and friendly people.
On June 1, when I visited Government House to present the credentials, I was warmly received by Governor-General Grand Chief Sir Bob Dadae.
From there, I had a bird’s eye view of the beautiful coastal scenery of Papua New Guinea for the first time, and immediately took a shine on this great country.
As a country with important influence in the Pacific region, PNG is China’s good friend and partner.
This year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and PNG, and I am honoured to assume the position as the 15th Chinese ambassador to PNG at this important time.
Over the past 45 years, China-PNG relations have enjoyed sound and steady development.
Friendship between the two has continued to deepen, and cooperation in various fields has continued to expand.
In November 2018, President Xi Jinping paid a historic state visit to PNG, and the two countries launched the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, featuring mutual respect and common development, opening a track of fast and upgraded growth for the bilateral relations.
In February, China’s state councillor and foreign minister Wang Yi announced donation of Chinese vaccines to support PNG’s anti-pandemic efforts.
Later on, China has made special arrangements and invited Foreign Minister Soroi Eoe to visit China in early June, despite still severe global pandemic situation.
The above arrangements fully demonstrate the special importance of China-PNG relations.
During his meeting with Eoe, Wang expressed China’s appreciation for PNG’s firm adherence to the one-China policy, and reaffirmed China’s firm support to PNG to safeguard its national sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, pursue a development path suited to PNG’s national reality and achieve further growth.
This year is a year of special significance for the Chinese people in the process of realising the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
We will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Founding of the Communist Party of China.
2021 is also the first year of the 14th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development in China, which starts a new journey of building a modern socialist country in all aspects.
China-PNG relations are at a new historical starting point.
As the new Chinese ambassador to PNG, I am ready to work with people from all sectors in PNG, taking the opportunity of celebrating the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, and carry forward the joint endeavour to achieve common development and prosperity for our two countries and build a community with a shared future between China and Pacific Islands countries.
First, we will further deepen political mutual trust.
The most important experience in the successful development of China-PNG relations lies in the mutual respect and equality that always exist between the two sides, and the mutual support on issues concerning each other’s core interests.
China is ready to enhance high-level exchanges with PNG and strengthen top-level designing and political leadership of bilateral relations, to make sure the relations are always defined by mutual respect and common development and promote continued high-quality development of our comprehensive strategic partnership.
Second, we will further strengthen anti-pandemic cooperation.
Vaccines donated by China will soon arrive in PNG, which will help PNG overcome the epidemic at an early time.
China will continue to share with PNG experience in combating the virus, send more medical supplies, and strengthen exchanges in public health governance and medical technology, to jointly build a global community of health for all.
China will set up a China-Pacific Island countries emergency supplies reserve and will strengthen cooperation with PNG and other Pacific Islands countries in response to major public health contingencies and natural disasters.
Third, we will further expand practical cooperation.
China and PNG enjoy strong economic complementarity and enormous potential for cooperation.
China is ready to work with PNG to align the Belt and Road Initiative with the Connect PNG Plan, deepen the joint construction of the Belt and Road, and strengthen cooperation in areas like investment, economy and trade, minerals, energy, transportation and maritime cooperation.
China will encourage more Chinese companies to invest in PNG for win-win results, generating more benefits to the two peoples.
Fourth, we will further increase sharing of development experience.
China was once poor and weak as well.
But, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, the Chinese people have found a successful development path that suits China’s national conditions, which is the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
With arduous struggles, great development achievements were made in China.
It has become the world’s second-largest economy and has eradicated extreme poverty, creating another miracle in human history.
Both as developing countries, China feels the same for PNG’s desire for greater and faster development, and will share China’s experiences and provide assistance within its capacity for PNG’s economic and social development.
China’s help is sincere, with no political strings attached or any geopolitical calculation.
Fifth, we will further promote people-to-people exchanges.
The people of China and PNG are both hard-working and diligent people, and are friendly toward each other.
I will actively promote exchanges and cooperation between the two sides in culture, education, tourism and between our provinces and cities.
China will continue to provide PNG students with scholarships to study in China and help PNG train talents needed for PNG’s development.
The Confucius Institute of PNG University of Technology and the Chinese medical team will serve the PNG people in the fields of culture, education and health, and contribute to further growth of China-PNG friendship.
Forty-five years of joint efforts have laid a solid foundation for the future development of China-PNG relations.
As promised to Sir Bob and Prime Minister James Marape, I will do my best as the ambassador to add new impetus to the growth of bilateral relations.
I believe that with our continued joint efforts, China-PNG relations will herald an even brighter new future in the next 45 years.