China’s Position Paper on Mutual Respect and Common Development with Pacific Island Countries
2022/05/30 21:00

China and Pacific Island Countries, as developing countries, share broad common interests in safeguarding peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, upholding international equity and justice, and promoting sustainable and resilient development. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties in the 1970s, relations between China and Pacific Island Countries have flourished,  and exchanges and cooperation have been expanding in more than 20 areas, including trade, investment, ocean affairs, environmental protection, disaster preparedness and mitigation, poverty alleviation and health. China has implemented nearly 500 complete plant projects, technical assistance, in-kind assistance and concessional loan projects in Pacific Island Countries, helped them build important infrastructure such as road, bridge, wharf, hospital, school and stadium, and trained about 10,000 professionals in various fields. China has dispatched medical teams to 8 Pacific Island Countries having diplomatic ties with China, benefiting several hundred thousand local residents. China has signed Belt and Road cooperation MoUs with all the 10 Pacific Island Countries having diplomatic relations with China. From 1992 to 2021, total trade volume between China and Pacific Island Countries having diplomatic relations with China registered an average annual increase of 13% and expanded by over 30 times. Before the pandemic, nearly 100,000 tourists traveled to the South Pacific region every year. Since the start of COVID-19, China has provided Pacific Island Countries with multiple batches of vaccines and various kinds of anti-epidemic supplies. China and Pacific Island Countries have forged 22 pairs of sister provinces/states and cities.

China is committed to deepen its comprehensive strategic partnership featuring mutual respect and common development with Pacific Island Countries, so as to build a closer China-Pacific Island Countries community with a shared future. In this regard, China puts forward the following vision and proposal:

1. Uphold that all countries, regardless of their size, strength and wealth, are equals. Advocate for peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom, which are the common values of humanity.

2. Respect the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pacific Island Countries, support Pacific Island Countries in independently choosing development paths suited to their national conditions, adhere to non-interference in internal affairs of Pacific Island Countries. Appreciate that Pacific Island Countries firmly abide by the one-China principle, and understand and support China’s core interests and major concerns.

3. Follow the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, so as to promote regional peace and security. Uphold the international non-proliferation regime with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as its cornerstone and support the development of the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone. Combat transnational crime including cyber crime, and jointly tackle non-traditional security threats.

4. Strengthen experience-sharing on governance, national development planning and building special economic zones. Share experiences on job creation and poverty reduction, in order to eliminate poverty.

5. Strengthen synergy between Belt and Road cooperation with regional cooperation initiatives such as “Pacific Aid for Trade Strategy 2020-2025”, “Regional E-commerce Strategy” and “Pacific Quality Infrastructure Initiative”, and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation in fields of infrastructure, agriculture, forestry and fishery, energy, mining, information and communication technology, e-commerce and tourism.

6. Continue to use the platforms such as China International Import Expo, China International Fair for Investment and Trade, China Import and Export Fair and Guangdong 21st Century Maritime Silk Road International Expo to promote Pacific Island Countries’ premium products and projects. Expand market access to China for Pacific Island Countries’ featured products such as agro-products.

7. Fully understand the importance of marine environment to Pacific Island Countries. Support Pacific Island Countries in protecting the marine environment, and carry out cooperation on ocean forecasting and disaster early-warning.

8. Enhance economic and technical cooperation under the framework of South-South Cooperation, and continue to provide assistance to Pacific Island Countries to the best of China’s capability. Support cooperation between medical institutions, and provide anti-COVID-19 assistance to Pacific Island Countries.

9. Encourage people-to-people exchanges, and strengthen exchanges and cooperation in such fields as youth, sports, culture and arts, universities, think tanks, women’s welfare and media. Support willing institutions in Pacific Island Countries in jointly establishing Confucius Institute and Confucius Classroom with China. Explore cooperation in cultural industry.

10. Continue to provide Pacific Island Countries with Chinese government scholarships and various training opportunities. Support deepening sub-national exchanges and cooperation, and encourage establishing more sister provinces/states/cities relations.

11. In accordance with the principle of equity, common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, promote the full and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement and a green and low-carbon development for all countries. Deepen South-South cooperation on climate change. Realizing that Pacific Island Countries are vulnerable to climate crisis, and help Pacific Island Countries build a climate resilient blue economy.

12. Stay committed to promoting multilateralism, abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, uphold the UN-centered international system and the international order based on international law, and establish a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, equity, justice and win-win cooperation, so as to safeguard the legitimate interests of developing countries, especially small and medium-sized countries.

13. Implement the Global Development Initiative, and support Pacific Island Countries in accelerating the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

14. Actively explore tripartite cooperation in Pacific Island Countries.

15. China respects the willingness of Pacific Island Countries, as well as the existing regional mechanism and arrangement, and is willing to implement the above vision on the basis of friendly consultation with Pacific Island Countries, to promote concrete cooperation as follows:

(1) Hold the China-Pacific Island Countries Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on a regular basis.

(2) Appoint a Chinese government special envoy for Pacific Island Countries affairs.

(3) Continue to hold the China-Pacific Island Countries Economic Development and Cooperation Forum.

(4) Continue to hold the China-Pacific Island Countries Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting and associated events.

(5) Establish a China-Pacific Island Countries demonstration center for agricultural cooperation, continue to support Pacific Island Countries by dispatching agricultural experts and technical personnel, providing agricultural materials and equipment, and carrying out training programs.

(6) Establish a Juncao technology demonstration center for Pacific Island Countries, and popularize Juncao planting technology in Pacific Island Countries fit for planting, to help improve people’s livelihood.

(7) Establish a China-Pacific Island Countries disaster management cooperation mechanism and a disaster preparedness and mitigation cooperation center, and hold the first China-Pacific Island Countries Disaster Management Cooperation Forum in due course.

(8) Launch the China-Pacific Island Countries poverty reduction and development cooperation center, to help Pacific Island Countries accelerate poverty reduction.

(9) The China-Pacific Island Countries Reserve of Emergency Supplies will establish a sub-reserve in Pacific Island Countries.

(10) Provide training opportunities for Pacific Island Countries through the China-Pacific Island Countries Climate Change Cooperation Center in the next five years, and continue to carry out climate change South-South cooperation in-kind assistance projects, including a total value of 35 million RMB of in-kind assistance in 2022.

(11) Hold the China-Island Countries Maritime Cooperation High-Level Forum in due course and invite Pacific Island Countries to attend.

(12) Encourage and support airlines to launch air routes and flights between China and Pacific Island Countries when COVID-19 is effectively under control.

(13) Hold a China-Oceania and South Pacific Region International Trade and Digital Expo.

(14) Hold seminars on governance and development planning for Pacific Island Countries.

(15) Hold training programs for young diplomats from Pacific Island Countries.

(16) Provide 2,500 government scholarships for Pacific Island Countries