His Excellency Wang Xiaolong is also Ambassador to New Zealand and Niue and will replace former Ambassador Wu Xi. PHOTO/CHINESE EMBASSY/22011418
New Ambassador for the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Wang Xiaolong has been on Rarotonga for a whistle-stop visit this week to talk about future co-operation with the Cook Islands.
The visit comes in the lead up to the 25th
anniversary of diplomatic relationships between the two nations.
Cook Islands Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Herrmann said both countries are expected to work closely
together over the next couple of weeks to chart a forward bilateral
co-operation agenda to guide joint efforts over the next three or so years, to
support Cook Islands and the People’s Republic of China shared and separate
Ambassador Wang has been able to visit so soon after the resumption of
international arrivals from New Zealand and expect to hold wide-ranging
discussions this week, including on forward bilateral co-operation; regional
affairs and greater people to people links,” Herrmann said.
Ambassador Wang comes into the Ambassador to
the Cook Islands role having previously served as Director-General of the
Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Department of International Economic Affairs and has
served in China’s Foreign Ministry as Special Envoy for the PRC on G20 affairs,
Ambassador to Mongolia and Singapore.
Hermann said the cornerstone of People’s
Republic of China and Cook Islands co-operation of the last 25 years has been a
commitment to partnership, no matter size or might and an abiding respect for
self-determination of one’s own development path.
“In 1997, we were economically bankrupt,
confronted with an exodus of Cook Islanders and unable to raise international finance
for our development aspirations.
“Those are the circumstance under which the
PRC established diplomatic relations with the Cook Islands and the beginning of
what has come to be a mature and valued bilateral partnership for the Cook
Islands,” Hermann said.
“As we reflect on 25 years of co-operation
there is much to be proud of, the grants and concessional loan facilities
availed by the PRC has seen the completion of pivotal public infrastructure
since, namely the Courthouse, Police
Headquarters, the Ministry of Education, the multi-sports complex in Nikao and
the Apii Nikao rebuild.”
A spokesperson for the Cook Islands government
said talks this week are expected to cover discussions on the Cook Islands
Economic Recovery Roadmap; China’s Belt and Road Initiative and likely forward
bilateral co-operation; regional affairs and greater people to people
The two governments are intending to mark the
25-year anniversary in July with a program of engagements to showcase past
co-operation and articulate a forward co-operation agenda.