NADI, Fiji -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao here on
Wednesday delivered a keynote speech at the opening of the First Ministerial
Conference of the China-Pacific Island Countries Economic Development and
The following is the full translation of Premier Wen's address to the
Win-win Cooperation for Common Development
H.E. Wen Jiabao
Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China
At the Opening of the First Ministerial Conference of the
China-Pacific Island Countries
Economic Development and Cooperation Forum
April 5, 2006
Dear Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase, Dear Prime Minister Michael Somare,
President of the Pacific Islands Forum, Heads of state and government, Heads of
the delegations, Ministers and Ambassadors, Friends from the business community
of China and the Pacific island countries, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me a great pleasure today to meet you at the opening of the First
Ministerial Conference of the China-Pacific Island Countries Economic
Development and Cooperation Forum to discuss ways of promoting cooperation and
development. On behalf of the Chinese Government, I wish to extend warm
congratulations on the opening of the First Ministerial Conference and a warm
welcome to all the state leaders and participants. I also wish to thank the Fiji
Government and the Secretariat of the Pacific Islands Forum for all they have
done for the opening of this conference.
The world we live in today is undergoing complex and profound changes. Steady
economic growth, rapid progress in science and technology, the accelerated
relocation of industries and the movement of production factors world-wide have
created valuable opportunities for all countries to develop their economies.
However,the widening gap between the North and the South and between the rich
and the poor underscores the increasing imbalance in global development. The
growing non-traditional security threats such as terrorism, transnational
crimes, environmental degradation and communicable diseases present a daunting
challenge for the sustainable development of developing countries, including the
Pacific island countries. We must therefore work together to cope with the risks
by pooling our wisdom.
China and the Pacific island countries, both being developing countries in
the Asia Pacific region, are engaged in economic revitalization and social
development. People in the region, facing a new international environment and
increasing economic globalization, ardently hope to seize the opportunity, meet
the challenge and keep abreast with the advance of the times. It is against this
general backdrop that the China-Pacific Island Countries Economic Development
and Cooperation Forum is being held, with the goal of "strengthening cooperation
and realizing common development" to improve the well-being of people in our
respective countries. I am confident that this Forum, a landmark event in the
relations between China and the Pacific island countries, will set a new model
for South-South cooperation.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
China firmly adheres to the path of peaceful development and pursues a policy
of peace, development and cooperation in international affairs. China is
committed to "promoting peace and development through cooperation", and will
continue to strengthen its friendship and cooperation with the Pacific island
countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.
Politically, China maintains that all countries, whether big or small, strong
or weak, rich or poor, are equal members of the international community and
should treat each other as such. We respect the social systems of the Pacific
island countries and the development strategy they have adopted based on their
national conditions and their efforts in safeguarding sovereignty and
independence and preserving peace and stability in the region.
Economically, China shares the joy over the achievements of the Pacific
island countries and is keenly aware of the difficulties they face in their
development endeavor. We are committed to implementing the UN Millennium
Development Goals and helping the Pacific island countries improve capacity for
self-development. China is not rich. Still, we are ready to provide assistance
without any political strings attached to the Pacific island countries to the
best of our ability.
In international affairs, China strives to uphold the rights and interests of
the developing countries, including the Pacific island countries. As a permanent
member of the UN Security Council, China supports the Pacific island countries
in pursuing their legitimate interests regarding maritime resources exploration
and protection, climate change and other issues and their right to equal
participation in regional and international affairs.
As a Chinese saying puts it, "Just as distance tests a horse's strength, time
will show a person's sincerity". As far as China is concerned, to foster
friendship and cooperation with the Pacific island countries is not a diplomatic
expediency. Rather, it is a strategic decision. China has proved and will
continue to prove itself to be a sincere, trustworthy and reliable friend and
partner of the Pacific island countries forever. กก
Ladies and Gentlemen,
China's relations with the Pacific island countries have registered good
progress in recent years, and our common interests have expanded. As a dialogue
partner of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), China has set up the China-PIF
Cooperation Fund to help finance the Pacific Plan designed to promote regional
cooperation. The China-Pacific Island Countries Economic Development and
Cooperation Guiding Framework that we are going to sign today is another
significant step we take to enrich our cooperation. To deepen friendship and
cooperation between China and the Pacific island countries is the shared desire
of our peoples. It serves the fundamental and long-term interests of each side
and will strengthen peace and prosperity of the region. With this goal in mind,
I propose that China and the Pacific island countries work together in the
following fields: conduct regular exchanges between governments, parliaments,
political parties and non-governmental sectors to enhance mutual trust and
understanding; strengthen consultation and coordination on major international
and regional issues; accommodate each other's interests and reinforce mutual
support; and establish a new economic and trade relationship of mutual benefit
that meets the needs of the island countries.
Economic ties are an integral part of the relationship between China and the
Pacific island countries. Our respective economies are mutually complementary.
China has funding and technical expertise. The island countries are rich in
natural resources. Herein lie huge potentials for bilateral cooperation.
Following the principle of "looking to the future, advancing steadily and
working for mutual benefit and common development", we can certainly make new
progress in our economic cooperation and trade ties. To meet the current need of
economic development of the Pacific island countries, China has decided to take
the following steps:
1)To strengthen cooperation between the business communities of China and the
Pacific island countries, China will provide RMB 3 billion yuan of preferential
loans in the next three years to boost cooperation in resources development,
agriculture, forestry,fishery, tourism, textiles and consumer products
manufacturing, telecommunications and aviation and ocean shipping. The Chinese
Government will also set up a special fund to encourage Chinese companies to
invest in the Pacific island countries.
2)To support the Pacific island countries in developing their economy and
ease their debt burden, China will give zero-tariff treatment to the majority of
exports to China from the least developed countries in the region that have
diplomatic ties with China. China will cancel their debts that became mature at
the end of 2005 and extend by ten years the payment of debts contracted byother
island countries that became mature at the end of 2005.
3)China will provide free anti-malaria medicines to the island countries
affected by the disease in the next three years to help them treat malaria.
China will continue to send medical teams to the island countries and conduct
annual training courses for health officials, hospital managers and medical
researchers of these countries. China is also ready to exchange information on
bird flu prevention and control, and cooperate with the island countries in
various ways in this field.
4)China will provide training to 2,000 government officials and technical
staff from the island countries over the next three years to assist them in
5)To accelerate the development of tourism of the Pacific island countries,
China has decided to formally approve Papua New Guinea, Samoa, and the Federated
States of Micronesia as destinations for Chinese tourists. Thus, all the seven
island countries having diplomatic ties with China are now approved tourist
destinations for Chinese citizens.
6)China will provide assistance in building an earthquake or tsunami early
warning and monitoring network in light of the need of the island countries to
improve their capability of managing earthquakes, tsunamis and other natural
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is here in the Pacific island countries that the world sees the first ray
of the sun. Your people are warm and hospitable and you have a great potential
for economic development. The bond between China and the Pacific island
countries, just like the rising sun, has a bright future. We share a common
vision for the future. Let's work together to strengthen peace, stability and
prosperity in the region.
In conclusion, I wish the First Ministerial Conference of China-Pacific
Island Countries Economic Development and Cooperation Forum every success.
Thank you all!