The Minister of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening, Hon. Rolland Seleso led a group of Solomon Islands Premiers on a two-weeks long tour of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) which concluded on Monday 30th October.
A 22 government-officials delegation, comprising of eight Provincial Premiers, Deputy Premier of Guadalcanal and the Honiara City Mayor began the tour of China starting in Hangzhou, the capital city of Zhejiang Province and concluding in Beijing. The trip was aimed at bolstering Solomon Islands-Chinese province to province sister relations.
The leaders of Zhejiang Province welcomed Hon. Seleso and his delegation on 18 October 2023, before a nine-days seminar in Hangzhou. During the seminar, the delegation visited heritage sites, industrial and digital companies such as the likes of Alibaba, cultural sites, Asia Games venues, museums, health laboratories and trade centres.
While participating in the seminar and trainings in Hangzhou, Hon. Seleso and the Premiers had the opportunity to visit other cities such as Shanghai and Jinhua, in Zhejiang Province. After completing the seminar, the delegation then travelled to Beijing on 26th October for official meetings and more visits to historical sites and state-owned companies.
In Beijing, the Assistant Minister and Spokesperson of Foreign Affairs for the People’s Republic of China, Ms. Hua Chunying hosted lunch for Hon. Seleso, his Premiers and Charge de ’Affaires of the Solomon Islands Embassy.
Ms. Hua welcomed the delegation and highlighted the fact that the delegation represents the whole of Solomon Islands.
“All the Provincial Premiers including one Deputy Premier of Solomon Islands are here in China”, added Ms. Hua.
In response, Hon. Seleso acknowledged the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs for hosting lunch for the delegation. He further reassured China of the Solomon Islands recognition of the One China Principle and praised the Chinese government for the equal treatment to Solomon Islands regardless of our size and wealth. The discussions during the lunch covered topics ranging from province to province sister relations, economic cooperation, green development, and Chinese modernization.
Majority of the Premiers were first-timers to the People’s Republic of China. In awe of the huge country, the Premier of Choiseul Province, Hon. Tongoua Tabe emphasized that China is a genuine friend of Solomon Islands.
He stressed that he will return to his home province and inform his people about China.
The whole trip is organized and funded by the Chinese Government through the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC). On the last day of the tour, the organizers (CPAFFC) hosted a farewell dinner for the delegation before they travelled back to Honiara.
During the farewell, Hon. Seleso presented a Guadalcanal shell money to H.E. Ambassador Jiang Jiang, the Vice President of CPAFFC.
At the dinner, H.E Jiang re-emphasized on the notion that there are more collaborations that can be done to benefit both sides.
He mentioned that there are opportunities for collaborations on the people-to-people exchanges, trainings, visitations and so forth.
Hon. Seleso in his concluding remarks expressed gratitude to the Chinese Government for the hospitality of the team.
He further expressed that our peoples connect our economies.
“We need to sow seeds of cooperation by addressing the importance of protecting our resources and better management of our engagements at all levels,” He added.
The delegation will arrive back into the country today.
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