China never imposes its will on others


I NOTED a recent report in The National citing Reuters that the United States ambassador to Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu has warned Pacific island countries against “aid that benefits one person, one party and one bank account”.
The report interprets the US ambassador’s remarks as related to China.
If this is what the US ambassador intended, I want to explicitly point out that such accusation against China is totally baseless and her remarks are irresponsible.
The truth is, although China, like Papua New Guinea and other Pacific island countries, is still a developing country, it has provided economic and technical assistance to Pacific island countries within its capacity over the years.
The two sides have jointly implemented a number of development cooperation projects, which have generated tangible benefits to local economic and social development and people’s livelihood.
When carrying out international development cooperation, China never interferes in other countries’ internal affairs or attaches any political strings.
What China always follows is to fully respect the sovereignty of partner countries and the positions of the central government of a country, and conduct thorough and friendly consultations with them.
China never imposes its will on others.
Nor will it act on its own without respecting the opinions of the central government of a host country.
Let me give a few examples.
The Butuka Academy, assisted by the Chinese government, has complete and quality facilities and more than 3,000 enrolled PNG students.
The Juncao and upland rice technical assistance project, which has been implemented in PNG for more than 20 years, has been extended to 8 provinces, benefiting more than 30,000 rural populations.
China has sent 11 medical teams to PNG.
They work with the Port Moresby General Hospital and receive about a hundred patients every day, and visit different parts of PNG to provide free medical treatment and training.
The China-aided Independence Boulevard, Airport Express and other infrastructure projects have improved local transportation, contributed to the Connect PNG plan and played an important role in PNG’s economic development.
All these facts clearly show that the development cooperation implemented by China has benefited the PNG people extensively.
The label of so-called “aid that benefits one person, one party and one account” can never be pinned onto China.
I also noted the Reuters report has mentioned that the US government provided US$25 million (about K88 million) aid to Malaita province in the Solomon Islands without consulting the central Solomon Islands government.
There are nine provinces and one capital district in the Solomon Islands.
This US government aid programme that benefits only one province raises many questions.
Many people from the Pacific island countries are asking on social media why the US only supports the Malaita province which has a clear separatist tendency.
Is there a connection between the US aid and the recent anti-government riots in the Solomon Islands?
Has the US government also supported separatist provinces or political forces in other Pacific island countries?
The US ambassador should explain to the people of the Solomon Islands and other Pacific island countries.
Any attempt to divide China and Pacific island countries or disrupt or sabotage their development cooperation are futile because the assistance provided by China is sincere and without selfish purpose, and fits the development needs of Pacific island countries.
The governments and people of Pacific island countries hold dear their national sovereignty and independence.
They certainly know what kind of development cooperation they want.
They don’t need anyone’s lecturing and still less do they need to receive any “warning”.

Zeng Fanhua,
Chinese Ambassador to PNG