Xinhua Web Editor: Zhangxu
Chinese Ambassador to Samoa Zhao Weiping Saturday described the China-Samoa ties as true friendly partnership, saying the development of China-Samoa relations has always maintained good momentum.
Zhao made the remarks in an interview with Xinhua before the forthcoming visit to Samoa by Jia Qinglin, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference at the invitation of the Samoan government.
Jia will be the highest level visit of Chinese leaders to Samoa since 1980s, which is of great significance to promoting the development of China-Samoa relations and will surely open a new chapter in the history of China-Samoa friendship, said Zhao.
Talking about the friendly relations between China and Samoa, Zhao recalled that as early as in the beginning of the 20th century, thousands of Chinese came to Samoa, working together with the local Samoans while making contributions to the construction of Samoa. There are tens of thousands of Samoans who are of Chinese descent, having become a bridge of friendship between China and Samoa.
The ambassador noted that Samoa is one of the earliest countries in the South Pacific region to establish diplomatic ties with China. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1975, the development of China-Samoa relations has always maintained good momentum, with frequent exchange of high-level visits and constantly deepened cooperation in various fields.
Both sides treat each other as equals with mutual respect and conduct economic cooperation sincerely, while supporting each other with close coordination on international and regional affairs, Zhao said, adding the China-Samoa relations have set a good example for other countries in the region of Pacific islands.
Describing China and Samoa as true friends and important partners, Zhao praised that the successive governments of Samoa attach great importance to the relations with China and have always provided China with valuable support on issues related to the core interests of China as well as on major international and regional issues.
For the Chinese side, we also support Samoan's efforts in developing national economy to improve the people's living standards, while providing economic and technological assistance to Samoa to help its construction in areas of infrastructure, agriculture, education and healthcare, Zhao added.
The ambassador took some Chinese-aided projects as good examples in this regard.
The China-Samoa Agricultural Demonstration Farm is a Chinese government funded project. It was established at Nu'u in 2010 with purposes to train the Samoan farmers on voluntary basis through Chinese agricultural planting techniques, enhance food security in the island nation and help improve local farmers' earnings. A Chinese team of agricultural experts are working on the farm and have trained some 500 local farmers.
Chinese medical teams with more than 100 doctors in total have been sent to the Samoan National Hospital for more than 20 years, who have rescued many Samoan lives.
Meanwhile, China has paid much attention to help the Samoa government in its development program of human resources, with donations and construction of three primary schools which have benefited thousands of local families. China also invites some 50 Samoan officials and technical personnel each year to attend various training programs in China. Sponsored by the Chinese government, 57 Samoan students are studying in China.
Zhao expressed that China attaches great importance to the time- honored relations of friendship and cooperation with Samoa and will work together with the Samoan government to further develop bilateral relations so as to bring more benefits to peoples of both countries, stressing that China's assistance is in essence " south-south cooperation", which is a mutual support between developing countries.
On Jia's forthcoming visit to Samoa, Zhao revealed that the Chinese leader will meet with Samoa's head of state, prime minister and parliament speaker and hold discussions with them on the development of China-Samoa relations. Jia will also visit China-Samoa Agricultural Demonstration Farm and a relevant primary school.
The visit will further strengthen China-Samoa traditional friendship, deepen the practical cooperation in various fields and push forward China-Samoa relationship to a new high, said the Chinese ambassador.