Ambassador Zhang Weidong Made Remarks at the College of Micronesia
（From Chinese Embassy in Micronesia ）
On March 21, 2012, Ambassador Zhang Weidong was invited to make remarks on the relations between China and the Federated States of Micronesia at the "Forum of Lectures" in the College of Micronesia, FSM. The full text of the remarks is as follows:
"Honorable Professor John Haglelgam, former President of the FSM,
Honorable Dr. Joseph Daisy, President of the COM-FSM,
Distinguished faculty members,
Dear young friends from the Social Science and Political Science Divisions,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am strongly inspired when I entered this unique charming campus of the highest education institute in the Federated States of Micronesia. I remember a few lines from a well-known philosopher and educator named Aristotle. He said: "Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity." "The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet." I hope, with the help of the teachers, the young friends here will all harvest sweet fruits from this glorious institute of higher education and become the ornaments to your country.
It is a great pleasure for me to step on this solemn platform of "the Forum of Lectures" and exchange with you some ideas on the relations between China and the FSM. Before that, I'd like to share with you the newest development in China. Just last Wednesday, March 14, 2012 the National People's Congress (NPC), China's parliament, concluded its annual session. The session is successful, further accumulating common understanding, making clear our targets and reinforcing confidence. At the session, the NPC adopted a number of important documents, including the Report on the Work of the Government, the Central Budget and the National Economic and Social Development Plan for 2012. The report of the work of the government lays out the achievements and problems in 2011 as well as the targets and tasks in 2012.
The report states that last year, China faced a complex and volatile political and economic environment abroad and arduous and challenging reform and development tasks at home. Working hard with one heart and one mind,the Chinese people of all ethnic groups made significant achievements in reform, opening up, and socialist modernization. China's GDP reached 47.2 trillion yuan, an increase of 9.2% over the previous year; government revenue was 10.37 trillion yuan, an increase of 24.8%; and the country's grain output reached a record high of 571.21 million tons. A total of 12.21 million new urban jobs were created. The per capita disposable income of urban residents and the per capita net income of rural residents rose in real terms by 8.4% and 11.4%, respectively.
It also states that China still faces many difficulties and challenges in economic and social development. Internationally, the road to global economic recovery will be tortuous, the global financial crisis is still evolving, and some countries will find it hard to ease the sovereign debt crisis any time soon. The unemployment rate remains high in the major developed economies, and they lack impetus for growth. Emerging economies face the dual pressures of inflation and slowing economic growth. The exchange rates of major currencies and the prices of important commodities are experiencing sharp fluctuations. Protectionism in international trade and investment is mounting. Domestically, it has become more urgent but also more difficult to solve institutional and structural problems and alleviate the problem of unbalanced, uncoordinated, and unsustainable development. In addition, China's economy is encountering new problems. There is downward pressure on economic growth. Prices remain high. Regulation of the real estate market is in a crucial stage. It is getting harder to maintain steady development of agriculture and sustain increases in rural incomes. Pressure to increase total employment coexists with structural shortages of qualified personnel in some industries. Some enterprises, especially small and micro businesses, face increasing difficulties in their operations. Some industries are plagued by excess production capacity. Total energy consumption is growing excessively fast. Moreover, some long-term and short-term problems are interwoven; structural and cyclical factors affect each other; domestic and international problems have become interrelated; and our macro-control work faces a more complex situation. Targets for conserving energy, reducing emissions, and controlling prices are not being met. Problems concerning land expropriation, housing demolition, workplace safety, food and drug safety, and income distribution are still very serious and the people are still very concerned about them. Government administration and services need to be improved, and efforts to build clean government need to be intensified.
The report points out that in 2012, we will work hard to make progress while maintaining stability, and strengthen and improve macro-control. We will continue to balance maintaining steady and robust economic development, adjusting the economic structure, and managing inflation expectations; accelerate the transformation of the pattern of economic development and adjustment of the economic structure; vigorously expand domestic demand, particularly consumer demand; make every effort to strengthen innovation, energy conservation, and emissions reduction; and strive to deepen reform and opening up and ensure and improve the people's wellbeing. We will comprehensively advance socialist economic development, political, cultural and social progress, and ecological awareness. We will strive to achieve steady and robust economic development and overall price stability, maintain social harmony and stability. The main targets for this year's economic and social development are as follows: to increase GDP by 7.5%, create more than 9 million new jobs in towns and cities, keep the registered urban unemployment rate at or below 4.6%, hold increases in the CPI to around 4%, increase the volume of total exports and imports by around 10%, and continue to improve our balance of payments. At the same time, we will make further progress in industrial restructuring, innovation, energy conservation, and emissions reduction, and ensure that both urban and rural residents' real incomes increase in line with economic growth.
On foreign affairs the report states that in 2012, China's diplomacy should better promote the country's over-arching goal of promoting reform, opening up, and socialist modernization; and make greater contributions to global economic growth and world peace and stability. We will continue to deepen friendly relations with our neighbors; actively participate in cooperation mechanisms with them; deepen regional cooperation; and work with them in creating a regional environment of peace, stability, equality, mutual trust, cooperation, and mutual benefit. We will enhance unity and cooperation with other developing countries, deepen traditional friendships, expand mutually beneficial cooperation, help achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals, and uphold the legitimate rights and interests as well as the common interests of developing countries. We will increase strategic dialogue with other major countries to promote strategic mutual trust, broaden areas of cooperation, and promote the long-term, steady, and sound growth of our relations with them. We will actively participate in multilateral affairs and global governance and contribute to making the international political and economic order more just and equitable. We will adhere to the path of peaceful development, continue to pursue an independent foreign policy of peace, and follow an open strategy of mutual benefit. We will work tirelessly with other countries to advance human civilization, improve the wellbeing of people in all countries, and build a harmonious world of enduring peace and common prosperity.
The above is a brief introduction of the newly adopted Report of the Work of the Chinese Government. Now let's come to the topic of today, China-FSM relations.
China and the FSM are old and young at the same time. China has a written history of more than 5000 years, but the People's Republic of China was founded only 63 years ago in 1949. The first settlers came to the Micronesian islands thousands years ago, but the Federated States of Micronesia was born only 33 years ago in 1979 and became independent in 1986, only for 26 years. The People's Republic of China and the Federated States of Micronesia established diplomatic relations on September 11, 1989, but we have a long history of contacts.
Geographically speaking, China and the FSM are far away from each other. If we look at the map of the world, we may see that we are separated by the Pacific Ocean and the direct distance is about 3000 miles or 5000 km. It is not easy to travel from China to the FSM and vice versa. We have to fly up 4 times and down 4 times via 4 countries for 3 days. However the distance cannot separate us and the seas bring us together. The river of our relationship runs a long course from a remote source.
I have read a book entitled Over Seas and Time- A Micronesian History Textbook, Published by the FSM Department of Education in 2010. It states that "the Austronesians, the earliest ancestor of Micronesians and of all Pacific islanders" are from China. Thousands years ago, they first moved into Taiwan island, a part of China and then migrated to other lands. According to research works of geologists, Chinese Taiwan island and the mainland was connected by land in ancient times. They were separated 30 million years ago because of the earth's crust movement. According to research, human species lived in Taiwan island some 30,000 years ago. During the multiple regressions of the Quaternary Period, the mainland of the present-day China and its offshore were accessible dry lands, allowing the early men from the mainland to trek a long way. This special group of people together with others from other part of China became important nexus between China and the FSM and other islands in the pacific. So from those findings, we can see that the Chinese people and the FSM people are, to some extent, related by blood. Blood is always thicker than water.
It was after China and the FSM forged the diplomatic ties that the relations between the two countries developed rapidly and this relationship becomes increasingly closer with the development in cooperation in economy, culture and other areas. Historically, a brief chronology of key events is as follows: On August 29, 1989, the joint communique which conveyed FSM & China's intentions to establish diplomatic relations was signed in Kolonia, Pohnpei by then Secretary Andon L. Amaraich, FSM External Affairs and Mr. Zhang Zai, Representative of the Government of the People's Republic of China. The formal diplomatic relationship was started on 11 September, 1989. The full text of the communiqué read like this: "The Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Federated States of Micronesia have decided, through friendly consultations, to establish diplomatic relations between the two countries at ambassadorial level as from 11 September 1989.
"The Government of the Federated States of Micronesia recognizes the Government of the People's Republic of China as the sole legal government of China. The two Governments agree to develop the diplomatic relations of friendship and cooperation between the two countries on the basis of the principles of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence."
On February 23, 1990, China established its embassy in Pohnpei and in June 1991, the first Chinese resident ambassador to the FSM assumed his post in Kolonia. I am the seventh resident Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to the FSM.
The FSM Embassy in Beijing opened in April 2007 and was officially dedicated by His Excellency President Emanuel (Manny) Mori in December 2007. In April 2010, The FSM sent the first resident Ambassador to China, His Excellency Ambassador Akillino H. Susaia, who assumed his post in July 2010.
The Chinese Government has always valued China's relationship with the FSM and regarded the FSM as a sincere friend and important partner in the Pacific islands region. China is committed to developing friendly and cooperative relations with the FSM on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. Thanks to concerted efforts of both governments and peoples of China-FSM, our relations have kept moving forward smoothly over the past 23 years. We have achieved a lot.
First, we have witnessed the enhancement of mutual political trust and frequent bilateral exchanges. The high-level and other exchanges helped a lot to enhance the understandings between China and the FSM and have contributed to consolidating the friendly relations. We have supported each other on many issues of our concern respectively. The Chinese Government and people are very glad to see that ever since the FSM won independence in 1986, the government and people of the FSM have made sustained efforts and great strides in safeguarding national independence and sovereignty, developing its economy and raising the people's living standards. The FSM government and people have given China strong support on Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang issues, which touch the very deep heart of the Chinese People.
Secondly, we have witnessed the expansion of economic cooperation. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties, the trade between China and the FSM has started from scratch to several million USD. We signed the governmental trade agreement in 1999. In 2010, our trade was about 5 million. We have maintained a smooth development of economic and technological cooperation and conducted a series of projects in every state of the FSM. Those projects, among others, are the outcomes of the fruitful cooperation between our two countries. They have helped to promote the economic development and improve the local people's life. They are also the symbol of our friendship.
Thirdly, we have witnessed the deepening of exchanges and cooperation in the fields of science and technology, culture, health, education and sports. There are active people-to-people and local exchanges. China and the FSM signed a MOU for Approved Destination Status on 28 May 2008. There are about 67 FSM students got the Chinese Scholarships and studied in China and there are more than 200 trainees have been to the training courses in China in various fields.
The artists from the FSM visited China and the FSM was one of the hundreds of delegations at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The FSM presented to the world an extremely wonderful culture achievement and made this international stage in Shanghai more colorful by your unique contribution in the Shanghai World Expo held in 2010.
Fourthly, we have witnessed accomplishments in multilateral cooperation and coordination. China and FSM continue to have close multilateral undertakings beginning with the strong support of China for FSM's membership in the United Nations in 1991, a key support for international recognition when other countries were hesitant in supporting FSM's independent and sovereign right. As developing countries, we have common interests and shared mutual supports in international community. We enjoy a cooperative relations in the international arena and continue to work side by side on issues of mutual interest. We have worked together to meet the challenge of the climate change and financial crisis. We have coordinated actively on the issues within the pacific region as well as that outside of the region, including the issue of the reform of the UN Security Council.
Some may ask why China and FSM enjoy such good relationship? I think that there are three major causes.
First, both China and the FSM are developing countries. We two governments bear the same responsibilities to further enable the country stronger and the people better off. We both have to solve many hard issues on the road of development.
Second, both Chinese people and the people in the FSM are peace-loving people. We both nations went through the similar experience in history and yearned for peace, freedom, independence and development mostly.
Third, both China and the FSM are member states of the United Nations. We two countries belong to the same big family and stand for the interests of developing countries. We speak by one voice on many international issues and have good desire to support each other.
We two peoples are friends though far apart in terms of geography. As your Constitution of the FSM states:" The seas do not divide us, they bring us together". There is a Chinese saying: "A bosom friend afar brings a distant land near."
Ladies and gentlemen,
Now, we have entered the second decade of this century. The world is going through complex and profound changes unseen before. Global challenges have become more pronounced, but the trend of our times towards peace, development and cooperation remains unchanged and countries are becoming more inter-dependent. Against this backdrop, our two nations share more extensive common interests. The growth of China-FSM relations is important for the well-being of our two peoples and peace, stability and prosperity of the region and the world. China-FSM relations now stand at a new starting point. The dynamic growth of China-FSM relations over the last 23 years proves that our shared interests and cooperation has always been the dominants of our relations, and that a sound China-FSM relationship is in the best interest of both countries. And with strong vitality and great potential, our relationship will continue to grow.
We will keep to the right direction in building China-FSM friendly and cooperative relationship. No matter what difficulties we may encounter on the way ahead, we should not deviate from the course we have embarked on or waver in our resolve and confidence. The important political document between China and the FSM is the Communiqué on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations, which has established the principles and laid the foundation for China-FSM relations. We will continue to work together on the important principle enshrined in the document and respect each other, treat each other as equals and enhance cooperation on the basis of common interests.
We will endeavor to enhance mutual understanding and trust. To develop the China-FSM cooperative relationship is the shared aspiration of Chinese and FSM peoples, and to enhance mutual political trust is an important part of that relationship. Only with trust can we strengthen the foundation of China-FSM relations and fully harness the potential of our friendship and cooperation. The two sides should continue to intensify exchanges and dialogue at high and other various levels to further deepen our mutual understanding and trust.
We will pursue mutually beneficial cooperation in an innovative spirit. Both China and the FSM face the task of economic development and raise the living standard of the people. We should uphold the overall interests of our long-term mutual beneficial cooperation, boost cooperation in traditional sectors and seize opportunities of cooperation in new areas such as counter against the climate change, new energy, tourism and infrastructure. As developing countries, we are friends and brothers and sisters. We shall trust each other, support each other, help each other and learn from each other. Although China is still not rich, we will continue to offer our assistance to the FSM within our capacity and join international efforts to help the FSM for its further development and happiness of its people.
We will strengthen communication and coordination in international affairs. China and the FSM are members of the UN. We should step up communication and coordination on the major issues that concern the interest of both countries, uphold the basic norms governing international relations, and jointly shoulder the responsibility for promoting peace, stability and development in the region as well as in the world.
We will encourage people-to-people and local exchanges. Friendship and cooperation between our two peoples are an ever-lasting force driving the growth of our relations. We should carry out exchanges between the provinces and states, non-governmental organizations, localities, think tanks, the young people of the two countries in a more flexible, diverse and effective way. Such exchanges will no doubt help us enhance mutual understanding, intensify the mutually beneficial cooperation and advance our overall relations.
China is committed to be a staunch force safeguarding the world peace, combining the interests of the Chinese people with common interests of other countries and backing fairness and justice. We respect the right of the people of all countries to independently choose their own development path and will never interfere in the internal affairs of other countries or impose our own will on them. China opposes all forms of hegemonism and power politics and will never seek hegemony or engage in expansion. China's further development will only bring more opportunities to the world and a better future for humanity.
The friendly relationship between China and the FSM is a part of world peace. And the common prosperity of China and the FSM is also a part of world progress. Thanks to 23 years of hard work by several generations of leaders and people in both countries, China-FSM relations have come a long way. Our responsibility now is to sustain the growth of China-FSM relations in the next 23 years and beyond. This is both a glorious and a challenging mission. Let us keep to the goal set by the two presidents, and let us work together to make steady progress in building China-FSM cooperative partnership and create a greater future for China-FSM relations! We are bound by the world and we are demanded by our peoples for future prosperity and world peace. Let's be true friends. You young people are the future of your nation, the future of our friendship and the future of the world. I sincerely hope and undoubtedly believe you will be the angels of the world peace and bridge of friendship between the FSM and China.
To end my speech, I would like to send you young friends two Chinese proverb herewith: "So long as you spare on painstaking effort, iron rod can be ground into a needle". "An inch of time is an inch of gold, but an inch of gold cannot buy an inch of time". I am sure you will make full use of the time here to study hard and make progress day by day.
Thank you for your attention!"