The theme of the seminar was “Cooperation against COVID-19 and Working Together for Development.”
The three political parties of the coalition government are Vanua’aku Pati, Union of Moderate Parties and National United Party
Vanuatu Prime Minister, Bob Loughman, President of VP, Ishmael Kalsakau, Deputy Prime Minister of Vanuatu and Vice President of UMP, and Silas Bule, Minister of Health of Vanuatu and Vice President of NUP led their respective parties in the seminar while Song Tao, Minister of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee (IDCPC) led the CPC delegation.
Vanuatu Justice Minister, Esmon Simon and Second Vice President of VP, Johnny Koanapo, Minister of Finance and Acting Secretary General of VP, MP Kenneth Natapei, MP John Still Tari Qetu, Russel Tamata, Director General of Ministry of Health, Zhou Haicheng, Chinese Ambassador to Vanuatu and other party leaders and government officials of both sides were present.
Guo Yezhou, Vice Minister of IDCPC presided over the seminar.
PM Loughman reiterated immense gratitude to the PRC for its continued assistance with Vanuatu’s development needs and priorities, especially more recently, towards COVID-19 and post-disaster needs in the aftermath of TC Harold and ash fall in Tanna.
He stressed that China-Vanuatu relations have continued to remain amicable and mutually beneficial, and have been so since the establishment of formal diplomatic relations in 1982 and One-China policy will continue to be the cornerstone of Sino-Vanuatu relations going forward.
He said VP is committed to working closely with the CPC in “building a community of shared future for mankind”.
He also emphasized that the Vanuatu Government remains supportive of regional coordination and multilateral action, supported by the UN system, in particular, in aide of national systems and processes, with care to ensure complementarity.
Minister Song Tao said that the China-Vanuatu relationship is at its best time in history and has been a model for relations between China and Pacific island countries.
President Xi Jinping and Vanuatu leaders both agreed to upgrade China-Vanuatu relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership of mutual respect and common development in 2018, pointing out the direction for bilateral cooperation.
Song said that the CPC has maintained close contacts with the major Vanuatu political parties and appreciates Vanuatu's firm support to China on issues related to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Xinjiang. CPC is ready to strengthen political trust and exchange governance experience with Vanuatu political parties so as to contribute party strength to the development of bilateral relations for the benefit of the two countries and the two peoples, Song added.
Song said, COVID-19 has had a serious impact on countries all over the world. In the face of the epidemic, the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core has always put the life safety and health of the people in the first place, promoting major strategic achievements in China's epidemic prevention and control.
He stressed that China has actively participated in international cooperation in the fight against COVID-19, providing assistance to other countries in the world within its means. The act of some countries to “stigmatize” China by taking advantage of the epidemic is unpopular, and it also seriously undermines the efforts of global unity to fight the epidemic, he pointed out.
Song added that China is willing to provide more support for Pacific island countries to prevent and control the epidemic, restore their economies, improve people's livelihood, and promote the building of a health community for all.
Photo supplied Caption: Prime Minister Bob Loughman and senior Ministers with the Chinese Ambassador Zhou Haicheng during the virtual seminar.