HON. Premier Francis Sade, had met His Excellency, Ambassador Li Ming, the first Chinese Ambassador to Solomon Islands, on a historic courtesy visit at GP Headquarter on Tuesday (29th) early morning.
In welcoming His Excellency, Mr. Li Ming, Premier Sade did state that on behalf of his Executive and the people of Guadalcanal, he was indeed pleased to receive the Mr. Li Ming and his delegation at the GPHQ.
“Your Excellency, your presence here today at the Guadalcanal Provincial Headquarter is the first symbolic step forward for Guadalcanal Province, through our national government, and the PRC to strengthen this new relationship we started last year [ 21st September, 2019]” Premier Sade stated.
He then reiterated that Guadalcanal Province’s support for the diplomatic switch was based on the fact that it had a long time sister relationship with Guangdong Province (South China) since the 1980s, and the country’s bilateral to China a year ago “would not only create many windows of opportunity for Guadalcanal Province, but for Solomon Islands as well.”
Premier Sade then highlighted the challenges Guadalcanal Province continues to face over the years in terms of robust delivery of public goods and services to the scattered and populated rural areas, the scholarship issues, and also the township.
In terms of the delivery of public goods and services, Guadalcanal Province has a growing population of more than 120,000 people, and being the second Province below poverty line based on the 2012/13 Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES), Premier Sade mentioned that one of his Executive biggest concerns is to engage more Guadalcanal people in the rural areas in both agriculture and fishery sectors. Moreover, he briefly stated the challenges that Guadalcanal Province has in terms of human resources and infrastructures and transportations; especially quality roads and reliable shipping services for many rural Guadalcanalese.
In response, His Excellency Mr. Li Ming stated that he was deeply honored with the welcome the Guadalcanal Premier and the Assembly had shown towards him and his delegation during his first and historic visit Guadalcanal Province.
His Excellency Mr. Li Ming stated that the Guadalcanal Province had ambitiously pursued sister-relations with Guangdong about the time when China’s economic reform and opening up to the world.
He stated that “In spite of the absence of the sister relationship between Guangdong Province and Guadalcanal Province, Guangdong delegations continued to visit Guadalcanal Province in terms of agriculture and fisheries” and also some forms of assistance from Guangdong during the global pandemic Covid-19.
In reference to infrastructure and education, His Excellency Mr. Li Ming mentioned that China also shared the same aspirations with Solomon Islands to pursue economic and development growth.
He stated that the bilateral relationship would also create great opportunities for Solomon Islanders in these areas.
In conclusion, His Excellency, Mr. Li Ming said “We welcome the friendship and gesture, we highly value the friendly gesture, we will play our important role to further enhance our cooperation friendship between our two countries and two peoples…we look forward to mutual benefits.”
The courtesy visit is one of the most historic visits His Excellency Mr. Li Ming paid to any provincial government in the country after the opening of the Chinese Embassy in Honiara a week prior.
Source: Guadalcanal Province (GP) Media