Editor's Note:This opinion piece was submitted by Ambassador Huang Zheng of People's Republic of China to Kaselelhie Press
and was originally published in its Sept. 2, 2019 issue.
Kolonia, Pohnpei -- The year 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the People’s Republic of China and the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). For the development of any person, society, country or career, the 30th anniversary is an important stage worthy of celebrating warmly and summing up conscientiously.
More than 2,500 years ago, Confucius, the great thinker and educator of ancient China, put forward the idea of “A man should stand firm at the age of thirty". In the Chinese culture of later generations, it’s gradually derived into "after 30 years’ development, a cause’s goals and direction are made clearly, and we have the courage to shoulder responsibility and make efforts for it. "
FSM Foreign Affairs Secretary Robert and Ambassador Huang review the RV KeXue’s log on Jan 4. Photo courtesy of FSM Information Service
Today, China-FSM relations are standing firm at the age of 30, which means that we need to push forward the steady and in-depth development of our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership of mutual respect and common development. Over the past 30 years, the Chinese government has attached great importance to developing China-FSM friendly relations and always regarded the FSM as a good brother/ sister, partner and friend.
Over the past 30 years, the friendly exchanges and cooperation between China and the FSM in various fields have seen fruitful achievements, which not only serves the common interests of our two countries and brings tangible benefits to our two peoples, but also contributes to the regional and global peace, prosperity and stability. Over the past 30 years, China and FSM have continuously promoted mutual understanding and friendship. The social and public opinion foundation of China-FSM relations has become more and more solid, and the hearts of our two peoples are getting closer and closer.
In 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping and then-President Emanuel Mori of the FSM decided to establish a Strategic Partnership featuring mutual respect and common development, opening a new chapter of the China-FSM relations. In November 2018, President Xi Jinping and then-President Peter Christian of the FSM met successfully in PNG and reached an important consensus to upgrade the China-FSM relations to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, which charted the course for the future development of our bilateral relations.
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In May 2019, the newly-elected President of the FSM, H.E.David Panuelo, stressed on multiple occasions that his administration would firmly adhere to the One China Principle and keep pushing the China-FSM Comprehensive Strategic Partnership to a new high. Up to now, China has implemented or been implementing nearly 20 complete projects and economic and technological cooperation projects in the FSM, including those delivered and put to use, such as the pilot farm, the Y-12 aircraft, the passenger-cargo ship in Yap and Chuuk, the multifunctional gymnasium across FSM, the bridge in Kosrae and the new Chuuk State office buildings complex, as well as the undergoing secondary road and bridge reconstruction project in Pohnpei.
There are also some projects proposed and under review, including the project of repairing and upgrading the roads in Chuuk, the second passenger-cargo ship and maintenance of office buildings in Pohnpei. China has provided more than 200 scholarship opportunities and trained more than 500 management and technical personnel for the FSM. In addition, sub-national cooperation and people-to-people exchanges between our two countries are booming and continue to yield instrumental results. The visit by the traditional dancers from Yap State to China were warmly welcomed and highly praised by the Chinese audience. Next year, the FSM National Convention Centre, whose construction is undertaken by Guangdong Province of China will rise above plain in Palikir, the capital of the FSM, which will be a new landmark of China-FSM friendship. The reason why we believe China-FSM relations are standing firm at the age of 30 is that historical experience has proven that, in order to maintain the long-term, sound and stable development of China- FSM relations and to continuously score new achievements, we must hold fast to the following principles: First of all, the FSM government firmly adheres to the One China Principle. There is only but one China in the world. The Government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China. Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory. The One China Principle not only is the most fundamental cornerstone of the China-FSM Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, but also one of the basic rules of the international law and international relations that every country should strictly abide by. China highly appreciates the stance of the FSM government in strictly adhering to the One China Principle and its leading role in safeguarding the One China Principle in the region. Without this cornerstone, the whole edifice of our partnership would collapse.
China regards the FSM as an important partner in the pursuing of the Belt and Road Initiative, and will fully carry out the concept of "helping friends to know how to fish instead of just giving fishes" proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping by increasing input in the areas of education, healthcare, science and technology and people-to-people exchanges on top of the existing cooperation with the FSM, making concerted efforts to pursue the Belt and Road Initiative and build a community with a shared future for humanity.
Secondly, we should always treat each other as equals. China has consistently advocated that all countries, big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, are equal members of the international community. Despite being a developing country, China upholds the principle of pursuing the greater good and shared interests and the principle of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith. Under the principles of equality, mutual benefit, openness and sustainability, China has provided assistance to the FSM within its capacity under the framework of south-south cooperation like the way between brothers and sisters. China's assistance to the FSM is not attached with political preconditions, nor is it imposing on the FSM side, but is according to the needs of the FSM people, which has improved the local livelihood, brought tangible benefits to the local people, assisted in the FSM’s economic and social development, so it is the most sincere and selfless. Thirdly, we should always respect each other. In the 1980s, in the face of the opposition from some big powers, China fully supported the FSM in its pursuit of independence in the United Nations and became one of the earliest countries to recognize and establish diplomatic relations with the FSM. Over the past 30 years, China and the FSM have always respected each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity, respective social systems, development paths chosen independently according to their own national conditions, fundamental interests and major concerns. Our two countries have never interfered in each other's internal affairs, have kept close coordination and cooperation on major regional, international and global issues. This constitutes an important connotation of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between China and the FSM. Fourthly, we should always pursue common development. All human beings, living on the same earth and sharing the same sky and ocean, will share the same future. Globalisation is an irresistible historical trend in today's world. Not a single country should remain an isolated island. All countries ought to connect with each other to form a community with a shared future. The great ideas of building a community with a shared future for humanity and pursuing the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) put forward by President Xi Jingping are China’s answer to the question of what kind of world we are building and how to build it, which concerns the destiny of the whole humanity. The core is to promote policy coordination, connectivity of infrastructure, unimpeded trade, financial integration and closer people-to-people ties. It aims to build a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness and justice, win-win cooperation, to make our world open and inclusive, clean and beautiful with lasting peace, common security, and common prosperity. By the end of April 2019, 131 countries including the FSM and 30 international organisations have signed a total of 187 documents of cooperation with China under the BRI, making it the most popular international public good around the globe.
China regards the FSM as an important partner in the pursuing of the Belt and Road Initiative, and will fully carry out the concept of "helping friends to know how to fish instead of just giving fishes" proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping by increasing input in the areas of education, healthcare, science and technology and people-to-people exchanges on top of the existing cooperation with the FSM, making concerted efforts to pursue the Belt and Road Initiative and build a community with a shared future for humanity. Regrettably, despite the remarkable achievements of the 30 years development of China-FSM relations, which are obvious to the people, China- FSM relations suffer ungrounded criticism and vicious attacks by some countries that distort facts and overturn the right with the wrong. This fully exposes those countries’ “sour grapes” psychology, colonialist attitude, Cold- War mindset and the outdated zero-sum game mentality. What they’ve been doing are hegemonic behavior that flagrantly ignored the sovereignty of the FSM with the ultimate selfish motivation of driving a wedge between China and the FSM and prevent the FSM from realising sustainable development with China's assistance.
Only the people of the FSM have a say in the effectiveness and dynamism of China's assistance, which those countries have no right or reason to judge, let alone to criticize. China will always be a good friend and partner worthy of the trust of the FSM, and will continue to provide sincere and selfless assistance within its capacity to the FSM and work with the FSM to create a better future. This conforms to the trend of the times and is in line with the common interests of China and the FSM, brings about tangible benefits to the local people and is widely welcomed by the local people. The selfish attempts by some countries to undermine the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between China and the FSM are doomed to failure. Since the beginning of this year, we have witnessed a series of activities celebrating the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the FSM, including the three receptions on deck aboard different Chinese scientific research vessels, the dedication and turnover of the new Chuuk state office buildings complex, 2019 Chinese lunar New Year reception, the ground-breaking ceremony of the China-aided Pohnpei secondary road and Kahmar Bridge project. A large reception will be held in September in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the FSM and the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.
In addition, the song and dance troupe from Zhongshan, Chinese Guangdong Province will visit the FSM and present wonderful performances to the local audience. We hope that all friends from the FSM can join us and work hand in hand to fulfill those grand functions. As the FSM President Panuelo said, we need to constantly push our bilateral relations to a new high in the next 30 years and beyond. We believe that as long as our two countries work together to keep enriching the connotations of the China-FSM Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, to pursue the Belt and Road Initiative on the principle of achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration, and to promote the building of a community with a shared future for humanity, we can be full of expectations for a better future to be created by the peoples of both China and the FSM. This opinion piece was submitted by Ambassador Huang Zheng of People's Republic of China to Kaselelhie Press and was originally published in its Sept. 2, 2019 issue.