The partnership between the People’s Republic of China and Pacific Island Countries has culminated into greater cooperation and solidarity towards containing COVID19.
This is evident through the latest announcements made by People’s Republic of China on the new set of assistance consisting of US$ 800,000 and the supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) provided to Fiji and the Pacific Island Countries.
This assistance has resulted through fruitful discussions held via a virtual meeting earlier this month, between the People’s Republic of China and the Pacific Island Countries in discussing the global containment efforts, bilateral cooperation, coordination on multilateral level, reaching broad consensus.
Chinese Ambassador to Fiji, Mr Qian Bo says that through “China–Pacific Island Countries Anti-COVID-19 Cooperation Fund,” China will inject a further US$ 500,000, of which US$ 100,000 will go to Fiji.
“We have donated USD1.9 million as the first batch of assistance in cash to the Pacific Island countries and with this new assistance of USD500,000 the total assistance given to the Pacific Island countries amounts to USD2.4 million.
“China has also donated US$ 200,000 to the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), to support the Secretariat in its efforts to address priority concerns of Pacific Island countries, who suffer from both climate change and the COVID-19 crisis. Further, China will donate US$ 100,000 to the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO), to help the Pacific tourism-driven countries affected by the epidemic,” Ambassador Bo said.
The second important area of assistance provided by the People’s Republic of China to assist Pacific Island Countries is through the donation of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Ambassador Bo says that provision of assistance in health sector has been made possible through collaboration at various levels ranging from central government, provincial, China Friendship Association and the Chinese Business Sector in Fiji and world over.
A new batch of medical supplies that has arrived in Fiji this week is the donations of PPE’s by China’s Guangdong Province to assist the Pacific to help with local anti-epidemic measures. The supplies include 200,000 face masks, 200,000 pairs of surgical gloves, 50,000 protective suits, 10,000 COVID-19 test kits, 300 infrared thermometers.
“China is a genuine friend to Fiji and we are committed to assisting our friends in Fiji and the Pacific. China will always be here to support our friends here in Fiji and likewise the other Pacific Island Countries. In fact there is progressive discussions to establish Fiji as the hub in terms of coordinating and facilitating major programs and assistance for the Pacific Island Countries,” Ambassador Bo said.
In recognition of the assistance provided, the Fijian Government has expressed appreciation to the People’s Republic of China for this timely assistance which complements Fiji’s national strategic efforts in containing COVID19.
It is a demonstration of the longstanding cooperation that Fiji and China have established in areas of socioeconomic development priorities and enhancement of livelihoods of Fijian communities.