At the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Prime Minister Charlot Salwai is now on an official visit to China from May 26 to 31.
Richard Butler | RNZ | May 30th, 2019

The following is the full text of the joint press communique between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Vanuatu released Tuesday.

Joint Press Communiqué Between the

People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Vanuatu

Beijing, May 28th 2019

1. At the invitation of H.E. Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, Hon. Charlot Salwai, Prime Minister of the Republic of Vanuatu, is on an official visit to China from May 26 to 31, 2019. During the visit, Prime Minister Salwai met with H.E. President Xi Jinping and held talks with H.E. Premier Li Keqiang. The two sides had in-depth discussions on bilateral relations and other issues of shared interest, and reached important consensus. Prime Minister Salwai and his delegation visited Beijing, and will visit Hainan.

2. Vanuatu warmly congratulated the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, highly commended the great achievements made by China in reform and opening-up, and expressed its confidence that under the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, the Chinese people will realize the Two Centenary Goals.

China expressed congratulations on the achievements made by Vanuatu in national development and foreign exchanges since Prime Minister Salwai took office and wished Vanuatu greater progress in its development endeavors.

3. The two sides highly commended the progress in the bilateral relations over the last 37 years since the establishment of diplomatic ties, reiterated their commitment to strengthening all-round exchanges and cooperation, and jointly advancing the comprehensive strategic partnership featuring mutual respect and common development, so as to better serve the interests of both peoples.

4. The two sides agreed that countries are equals regardless of their size, strength or wealth. In the new historical era, countries need to develop friendly exchanges on the basis of mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation, respect international law and basic norms governing international relations with the UN Charter at the core, endeavor to foster a new type of international relations and build a community with a shared future for mankind.

5. The two sides reaffirmed their respect for each other’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, support for the independent choice of development path which suits their national conditions, and mutual understanding and support on issues concerning each other’s core interests.

Vanuatu reiterated its firm commitment to upholding the One China principle, and recognized that there is only one China in the world, that the government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China, and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of the Chinese territory. Vanuatu expressed its support for the peaceful development of cross-strait relations and the efforts made by the Chinese government to achieve national reunification.

6. The two sides agreed to maintain the momentum of exchanges at the leadership and other levels, expand exchanges and cooperation between government departments, legislatures, political parties and local governments, strengthen the exchange of experience in governance, and continue to enhance mutual understanding and political trust.

7. Vanuatu spoke highly of the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by the Chinese side, and recognized that the Initiative matches the practical needs of developing countries and provides important opportunities for the development of Vanuatu and other Pacific Island countries. On the basis of the Memorandum of Understanding on jointly promoting the Belt and Road Initiative signed by the two governments in 2018, the two sides committed to following the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and to strengthening the practical cooperation in the fields of policy synergy, infrastructure development, unimpeded trade, financial cooperation and people-to-people bond. The two sides signed a cooperation plan on jointly promoting the Belt and Road Initiative.

8. The Chinese side expressed its readiness to further strengthen solidarity and cooperation with Vanuatu and provide support within its capacity to help Vanuatu develop its economy and improve its people’s livelihood. Vanuatu expressed its appreciation to China for its long-term assistance and acknowledged the important role played by the assistance in promoting Vanuatu’s economic and social development, which was warmly welcomed by the Vanuatu people.

9.The two sides agreed to step up cooperation in such areas as trade, investment, agriculture, fishery, marine resources conservation and sustainable development, expand exchanges in areas of culture, education, tourism and at sub-national levels, and jointly hold 2019 Year of Tourism for China and Pacific Island Countries. The Chinese side encourages more competitive and reputable Chinese companies to invest and do business in Vanuatu, and will continue to help Vanuatu in human resources development by providing government scholarships and training opportunities in China.

10. Vanuatu commended China and ASEAN countries’ efforts to jointly maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea region, and understands China’s position on the South China Sea issue.

11. The two sides agreed to further strengthen coordination and cooperation on major issues such as implementation of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development and response to climate change in the United Nations, the Pacific Islands Forum and other multilateral fora. Both sides agreed to stand firm in defense of multilateralism and the multilateral trading system, so as to jointly safeguard the common interests of developing countries. Vanuatu commended China’s positive role in promoting the stability and prosperity of the Pacific Islands region.

Both sides believed that the priority of UN Security Council reform should be increasing the representation and voice of developing countries, and that a package proposal should be found and the broadest possible agreement reached through full, democratic consultation and consensus building, ensuring that the reform serves the long-term interests of the UN and the common interests of all member states.

12. During the visit, the two sides signed documents in the areas of economic and technical cooperation and consular services. Both sides expressed their satisfaction with the outcomes. Prime Minister Salwai expressed his appreciation to the Chinese side for the warm hospitality accorded to him during his visit.