The new Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Fiji, His Excellency Mr. Zhou Jian paid a courtesy call to the Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Sitiveni Rabuka, in his office this afternoon (9/2/2023).
Prime Minister Rabuka congratulated Ambassador Zhou and wished him well for his new diplomatic role. He acknowledged China’s ongoing cooperation in advancing issues of mutual priorities at the regional and global arena. The Head of Government further reasserted Fiji Government’s commitment to strengthen partnership for the mutual benefit of both the nations’.
He thanked Ambassador Zhou for the discussions they had on the prospects for future cooperation in the areas of socioeconomic development.
Prime Minister Rabuka highlighted that, “One China Principle”, has been the firm foundation of Fiji-China diplomatic relations, founded some 48 years ago. In his response, Ambassador Zhou conveyed the greetings and best wishes from the Chinese President, His Excellency Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and Foreign Minister Hon. Qin Gang to Prime Minister Rabuka. He expressed his sincere appreciation to the People’s Coalition Government and the people of Fiji, for the kind hospitality accorded to him since his arrival to our shores, just nine days ago.
Ambassador Zhou said he will perform his duties to the best of his abilities to enhance the levels of cooperation and promote friendly exchanges between the two nations. He said he was deeply encouraged by Prime Minister Rabuka’s commitment to “put people first” and “countries in the world should cooperate to meet challenges”. He added that China and Fiji are natural partners and there is enormous opportunities for economic cooperation.
“Fiji’s natural conditions are particularly suitable for the development of agriculture and fisheries. China is a large agricultural country with the largest fisheries sector,” he said.
“We hope to deepen cooperation in agriculture, aquaculture, marine protection and other fields, to help Fiji achieve food self-sufficiency and improve the supply of seafood.
“China is also willing to support Fiji’s sugar industry and other industries. China is a global factory and big manufacturing country in the world, and is willing to help Fiji develop characteristic industries such as agriculture products processing,” Ambassador Zhou said.
He stated that last month, “Fiji became one of the 20 countries in the world and the only one in the Pacific Island Countries, selected by China to resume outbound group travel. Tens of thousands of Chinese tourists are expected to visit Fiji.” Ambassador Zhou stressed that, “Economic development is the only way to improve people’s livelihood. China is willing to use its technological, market and industrial advantages to help Fiji and other Pacific Island Countries achieve sustainable and independent development.” He mentioned that China appreciates the Fiji Government for understanding China’s concern and adhering to the one-China principle. Additionally, Ambassador Zhou reaffirmed China’s support for Fiji’s national development priorities. Fiji-China diplomatic relations is characterised by our respect for each other’s sovereignty, mutual aspirations and common interests in the region and beyond.