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Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai Introduces the Specific Measures Taken by China to Promote Economic and Social Development of Pacific Island Countries

On August 31, 2012, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai, as the representative of the Chinese government, attended the 24th Post-Forum Dialogue Meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) in the Cook Islands. During the dialogue, he introduced the concrete measures taken by the Chinese side to promote economic and social development of island countries.

First, the Chinese side welcomes more leaders from island countries to visit China. China will hold the second China-Pacific Island Countries Economic Development & Cooperation Forum in good time.

Second, since the dialogue in 2011, China has assisted island countries in building commercial centers, upgrading roads, building and repairing passenger-cargo ships, building community colleges and developing other projects and has provided emergency humanitarian assistance for the island countries that suffered natural disasters.

Third, China actively helped island countries to achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. In 2011, China invited the officials of island countries to attend the "global training courses on health diplomacy" and dispatched medical delegations to Samoa, Vanuatu and other island countries. In the future, China will help island countries to develop more infrastructure and production projects, send more agricultural, medical, and technical experts to island countries, and increase the number of trainees for island countries. China will further exempt the-least developed island countries from debts and grant zero-tariff treatment to 95% of the tariff items of exports to China from the least-developed countries having diplomatic relations with China in 2013.

Fourth, China will actively implement the measures announced by Premier Wen Jiabao at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). China will help developing countries including Pacific island countries to implement related initiatives and improve their capacity for environmental protection through a donation of $6,000,000 dollars to the Trust Fund of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Fifth, China will arrange 200 million yuan for three-year international cooperation and help small island countries including the Pacific island countries and the least-developed countries to address climate change. China will provide green and energy-saving products for island countries and invite them to participate in training courses on climate change.

Sixth, China will continue to fund the China-Forum Cooperation Fund, Pacific Islands Trade and Investment Commission (PITIC) and Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

Seventh, China will continue to deepen cooperation with island countries in fishery development management, marine protection, deep-sea exploration and other areas, support island countries to enhance capacity-building and improve fishery development, and further engage in cooperation in fishery conservation and management. China will continue to hold training courses on marine resources and environmental management for island countries to enhance their capabilities to develop and protect marine resources, forecast and respond to marine disaster. China will step up cooperation with island countries in the research and exploration of deep-sea mineral resources for sustainable use of resources.

Eighth, China will further strengthen the exchanges with women's societies and organizations of island countries and receive more women delegations to visit China. China will strengthen communication and cooperation with island countries at the international conferences on women and share experience with them in promoting women's development and gender equality. China will provide material assistance and training to promote the development of women's undertaking in island countries.

Ninth, the Chinese side welcomes the political dignitaries of island countries to attend China International Travel Mart 2012 (CITM) to be held in Shanghai in November. China will continue to increase the number of scholarships for students from island countries and arrange more arts and cultural groups to visit island countries. China supports the University of the South Pacific to run the Confucius Institute well. China will receive media delegations from island countries to promote cultural and people-to-people exchanges and cooperation.

Tenth, China is willing to conduct exchanges with other dialogue partners of the Pacific island countries on the basis of equality and mutual respect so as to learn from each other. China is willing to make positive contributions to the common development and prosperity in the region. China, New Zealand and the Cook Islands have jointly issued a statement on the water supply cooperation project for the Cook Islands. China is willing to work with New Zealand and the Cook Islands for a successful implementation of the project.

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