PRIME Minister James Marape seized the opportunity to forge and strengthen Papua New Guinea (PNG)-China relations and friendship at a cultural show hosted by China’s Embassy in PNG at the International Convention Centre (ICC) on Sept 26.
Marape stayed on throughout the night of the reception, taking group photographs with the Fujian Acrobatic Troupe members and guests comprising local leaders and communities from both countries.
He only left the 500-people dinner-cultural show reception at about 11pm after a 15-minute colourful fireworks display that lit the sky above the ICC.
The reception, featuring an hour-long exclusive and spectacular performances by acrobats, dancers and a singer, was staged to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the founding of The People’s Republic of China.
Marape said in his dinner address: “We have much to learn from China’s rise from poverty into the world’s second largest economy in just over 40 decades. It managed to lift some 700 million people out of poverty.
“Some 95 per cent of Papua New Guineans are still living in poverty. We look forward to greater mutual trade and growth between PNG and China because we want to break free from grant dependency.
“We recognised the One China Policy since establishing bilateral relations on Oct 12, 1976. China has never started any war … it only promoted world trade.
“We appreciate President Xi Jinping’s visit to PNG for the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (last November) and China’s continuous socio-economic contributions to PNG.”
China’s ambassador to PNG Xue Bing said: “PNG, after 43 years of bilateral relations, is today the second largest Pacific trading partner (the largest being Solomon Islands) and the balance of payments is in PNG’s favour.
“To date, Chinese investments have created 6,000 jobs for Papua New Guineans. China’s technology-driven economy is today contributing to 30 per cent of global economic growth.
“China’s global economic development and activities will always remain as an opportunity for the rest of the world to benefit mutually.”