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New Chinese ambassador promotes ‘mutual affinity and understanding’

Tuesday 18 January 2022 | Written by Sian Solomon | Published in Economy, National

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New Chinese ambassador  promotes ‘mutual affinity and understanding’
His Excellency Wang Xiaolong is also Ambassador to New Zealand and Niue and will replace former Ambassador Wu Xi. PHOTO/CHINESE EMBASSY/22011418

China’s new ambassador to the Cook Islands arrived in Wellington, New Zealand this month.

His Excellency ambassador Wang Xiaolong is also the ambassador to New Zealand and Niue and will replace former ambassador Wu Xi.

Wang presented Working Copies of Letters of Credence respectively to the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Cook Islands High Commission on Friday, January 14.

In a statement published on the Chinese Embassy's website, Wang said China has become a good friend and partner to the Cook Islands and Niue.

He went on to say the relationship is one that features “mutual affinity and understanding”.

“The Cook Islands, Niue, and China have become good friends and good partners in evolving relationships that feature affinity and mutual understanding, the spirit of navigating together (Turou Hawaiiki), mutual respect and common development.”

China and the Cook Islands will celebrate 20 years of formal diplomatic relations next year.

The two countries have celebrated a number of milestones including back in 2004 when the Chinese government provided relief assistance to the Cook Islands when it was battered by tropical cyclones.

During this time the Republic of China also helped with the construction of new buildings for the Ministry of Justice and the Cook Islands Police Department and provided financial assistance to support growth in various sectors including Agriculture and Education.

China has also shown its support by attending important and annual events. In 2014 previous ambassador Wang Lutong attended the tripartite water project launching ceremony and in 2015 attended the country’s Constitution Day 50th Anniversary celebration.

Since then both countries have enjoyed a steady momentum of political exchanges, with economic and technological advancements between the two countries moving steadily.

Wang said China highly values its relations with the Cook Islands and hopes that both countries can enhance, expand and consolidate their friendship.

“China highly values the relations with the Cook Islands and Niue and would like to work with the two countries to enhance political trust, expand practical co-operation, and consolidate the people-to-people friendship.”

He went on to say that working together would “deepen the comprehensive strategic partnership with them featuring mutual and respect and common development”.

Wang is the fourth Chinese ambassador appointed to the Cook Islands after the previous ambassador Wu Xi left late last year.

He has previously held roles in the economic department of China's foreign affairs department and helped with China's participation in the Covax Covid-19 vaccination scheme, to which it pledged to donate more than 100 million doses of its domestically-made vaccine.