More China aid likely: Qian Bo

Photo: Government of Samoa/Facebook

There is likely to be more China aid inbound to Samoa following a meeting on Monday between China’s Special Envoy for Pacific Island Countries Affairs and Prime Minister Fiamē Naomi Mataʻafa.

In a press briefing hosted by Qian Bo at the Chinese Embassy in Apia on Tuesday, the envoy also revealed that Samoa’s Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries and his team will make a trip to China for the third China Pacific Fisheries Summit. 

He also confirmed that when he met with Prime Minister Fiamē and her team, there were requests made for further aid which would be considered by the Chinese government.  

This was the first trip to Samoa by Qian, whose position as the Special Envoy for the Pacific was only created in February this year. 

“We know that we have a lot in common with our friends because we share similar experiences. China is not a newcomer to the Pacific. We are a contributor to peace and development,” he said. 

“We are happy, we have no ulterior motives in this region including in Samoa. Our focus in engaging with our friends is to help in development and we are hoping that we can develop together at a faster pace. 

“Our vision is that only when all the developing countries develop, this world will be more just and prosperous. Without the development of many developing countries including the countries in the region, it is not a fair world.” 

China’s Gross Domestic Product grew by 4.5 per cent last year and the forecasted growth sits at 5.5 per cent which is equal to USD$200 billion.The growth itself surpasses the GDP for most nations. Right now, with a USD$18 trillion GDP, China has the world’s biggest economy and is the number one trading partner for more than 100 countries. 

Qian said China wanted to aid the development of other countries as the nation developed and added that his country had six cooperation platforms through which they engaged with their partner. 

He said this included the emergency supply platform, whereby China would respond to the needs of other nations by supplying necessary items after natural disasters. 

The second platform is climate change where China focuses on helping nations become more resilient through aid and grants to focused projects and the third is poverty alleviation. Their fourth cooperation platform is disaster prevention while the fifth is access to Chin Tao experimental centre which helped nations grow mushrooms. The sixth cooperation platform would be launched next month which is agriculture. 

Qian said China’s growth has largely focused on poverty alleviation within their own nation and they would like to do the same for their partner. He said he would continue visiting Pacific nations including Samoa as this was one of the requirements of his posting