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Chinese Minister of International Department Liu Jianchao visits Vanuatu for the first time

The Chinese Minister of the International Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, Liu Jianchao, is currently in Port Vila for his first visit to Vanuatu.

Despite this being his first time here, he expressed familiarity with the country, noting that his department has maintained close contact with Vanuatu’s political parties over the years, and that he has personally met many Vanuatu officials during their trips to China.

In his speech at the National Convention Centre yesterday, the Minister emphasised China’s commitment to high-quality cooperation within the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) framework and the implementation of three global initiatives aimed at promoting world peace, stability, and prosperity.

He invited countries worldwide to join China in its modernisation efforts and share in the resulting opportunities.

Liu acknowledged the geographical distance between China and Vanuatu, but highlighted the strong desire among Chinese people to visit Vanuatu.

“This interest is not only because Vanuatu was ranked the world’s happiest country in 2024 according to the Happy Planet Index but also due to the longstanding friendship between the two peoples,” he said.

He reminded that Chinese people began working and living in Vanuatu as early as the 1920s.

“Over the years, the relationship between the two nations has strengthened under the strategic guidance of their leaders…President Xi Jinping has often emphasized that Vanuatu is a great friend, good partner, and good brother to China in the Pacific Island region, making it a priority in China’s diplomacy with Pacific Island countries,” said Mr. Liu.

He outlined four principles guiding China’s relations with Pacific Island countries:

Mutual Respect and Equality: China respects the sovereignty, independence, culture, traditions, and unity efforts of Pacific Island countries.

Friendship and Common Interests: China prioritises cooperation in areas of importance to Pacific Island countries, such as climate change, economic growth, livelihoods, and social stability. China provides assistance without political strings, impositions, or empty promises, believing in empowering rather than merely aiding.

Mutual Support: China considers itself part of the developing countries’ family. China’s vote in the United Nations Security Council represents the interests of developing nations. Liu called for joint efforts to promote equal, inclusive economic globalization to defend common interests.

Open and Inclusive Cooperation: China and Pacific Island countries share a long history and a common aspiration for development. Their cooperation is natural and independent, free from third-party influences. Pacific Island countries have the right to manage their affairs and choose their partners.

The Minister concluded by acknowledging the differences in political systems, history, culture, and natural environments between China and Pacific Island countries. Despite these differences, he stressed that they belong to a community with a shared future, linked by the vast Pacific Ocean and bonded by deep friendship.

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