China and Pacific Island Countries Held a Special Meeting on COVID-19

      On May 13, China and Pacific Island countries held a special meeting on COVID-19 via video link.

     The meeting, which was co-chaired by Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang and Papua New Guinea's Foreign Minister Patrick Pruaitch, gathered representatives from Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Cook Islands, Tonga, Niue, the Solomon Islands, and Kiribati. Mr. Kalfau Kaloris, Director General of Vanuatu Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and External Trade participated in the meeting at the Chinese Embassy in Port Vila. H.E. Zhou Haicheng, Chinese Ambassador to Vanuatu attended the special meeting as well.

     "China will continue to resolutely support the Pacific Island countries in their fight against COVID-19," said Zheng, adding that China will expand exchanges with these countries in various areas after the pandemic.

      Expressing their appreciation of China's assistance, representatives from the Pacific Island countries said they will support the leading role of the World Health Organization in global battle against the pandemic.

     They also voiced their resolute opposition to the practice of politicizing, stigmatizing and labeling the virus, reiterated their firm support of the one-China principle, and hoped their comprehensive strategic partnership with China will be elevated to a new height.

     DG Kaloris of MFAICET expressed immense gratitude for China's continued assistance with Vanuatu's development needs and priorities, and more recently, towards COVID-19, post-disaster needs in the aftermath of TC Harold and ash fall in Tanna. He also stressed that Vanuatu supports multilateralism, which now is more needed than ever before. "Vanuatu looks forward to working closely with China via established mechanisms like the UN system to strengthen the collective resolve going forward", he added.

     A joint press release was published after the meeting.

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