Ambassador visit enhances links

Wednesday May 02, 2018 Written by Published in Politics
Cook Islands High Commissioner to New Zealand Teremoana Yala with China’s Ambassador to New Zealand Wu Xi. Cook Islands High Commissioner to New Zealand Teremoana Yala with China’s Ambassador to New Zealand Wu Xi.

The Cook Islands and the People’s Republic of China will look to strengthen their partnership this week with the inaugural visit of the recently appointed Chinese Ambassador to New Zealand, Wu Xi, who will present her credentials to the Queen’s Representative, Tom Marsters on Thursday morning.

Ambassador Wu, who presented her credentials to the New Zealand Governor General Patsy Reddy on March 11, has diplomatic accreditation for New Zealand, the Cook Islands and Niue.

A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration said that according to international diplomatic practice, Ambassador Wu’s presentation of credentials to the Queen’s Representative enabled her to formally start her tour of duty with oversight for China’s relations with the Cook Islands.

“The early visit in her tenure signifies the importance China places on its more than 20 years’ relations with the Cook Islands,” the statement said.

Ambassador Wu will call on prime minister Henry Puna and opposition leader William “Smiley” Heather. Discussions are expected to cover topics such as development co-operation, trade, tourism and education.

The ambassador’s visit coincides with the official opening of the new Apii Nikao, on May 4. Construction of the new school, which combines Avatea and Nikao Maori primary schools, followed an arson attack on a number of classroom buildings in October 2013. The project had been made possible through the support of China, the statement said.

The official opening will enable almost 400 Year 1 to 8 students of Apii Nikao to begin the transition to their new buildings over coming weeks.

“The classrooms will be equipped with a state-of-the art learning environment including all the necessary tools to create an open and sustainable learning environment,” the statement said.

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