Chinese aid boosts Pacific island nations

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China hands over a new hospital in Enga province to the government of Papua New Guinea on June 20. [Photo/pg.china-embassy.gov.cn]

China has always supported Pacific island countries, serving as an important development partner for their needs, experts said.

China handed over a new hospital in Enga province to the government of Papua New Guinea on June 20, which will help improve medical services for local people. China’s Belt and Road Initiative programs have brought various tangible fruits to the people of these islands.

Addressing the handover ceremony in the capital of Engan, Wabag, PNG Prime Minister James Marape thanked China for supporting the high-quality project, saying the PNG government was willing to deepen collaboration with China in all fields, according to a Xinhua report.

Peter Ipatas, Governor of Enga Province, said it was a dream for the people of Enga and PNG to have a medical center with state-of-the-art technology, and with the help of China, the dream had come true.

Chinese Ambassador to PNG Zeng Fanhua called the project the latest outcome of bilateral health collaboration and said such collaboration demonstrates friendship as well as mutual support and trust.

Inia Batikoto Seruiratu, Fiji’s minister for defence, national security and police, recently called China a “key development partner” in the Pacific. Speaking at the Shangri-La dialogue in Singapore, he said: “It’s a known fact, and it’s also accepted in the region.”

The Pacific Islands region respects what China has done in terms of cooperation.

Speaking about creating fear about the region through disinformation and misinformation, Seruiratu said, “We all have the sovereign right to make our own decisions.”

bring prosperity

China is bringing prosperity to some of the world’s most disadvantaged people, whether by providing scholarships, building hospitals and schools or other vital infrastructure, observers say.

Leon Perera, president of Spire Research and Consulting in Singapore, said Pacific island states benefited from closer relations with China. “A reference point would be how China has deepened its ties with African states, Central Asian states through the Belt and Road Initiative and other regional states like Laos” , he told China Daily.

Ying Zhu, director of the Australian Center for Asian Affairs at the University of South Australia, said China is keen to help Pacific island countries develop their economies.

“That means building the infrastructure to get goods to market and to offer loans. China also contributes to social development like education and health. … That’s where the Belt and Road Initiative “is so important.”

Perera said one area of ​​infrastructure “clearly on the minds of Pacific island leaders” involves coastal defenses against sea level rise due to climate change.

Chinese tourists have been a boon to many countries around the world, he said, and China has provided COVID-19 support, such as vaccines.

Among other areas, China can help provide financial support and expertise to Pacific island governments in the area of ​​security, as seen in the recently announced China-Solomon Islands security pact, it said. -he declares.

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