FIJI NEWS

China visa deal likely

By MAIKELI SERU Fijians travelling to China will soon benefit from a visa arrangement with the Chinese government. This was confirmed by the President’s Office yesterday after Ratu Epeli Nailatikau
24 Sep 2012 08:52

By MAIKELI SERU

Fijians travelling to China will soon benefit from a visa arrangement with the Chinese government.
This was confirmed by the President’s Office yesterday after Ratu Epeli Nailatikau hosted Wu Bangguo, the chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China on Friday in Nadi.
“Excellency, I wish to firstly extend to you and your delegation our warm greetings; Ni sa bula vinaka and Ni Hao. I thank you for taking the time to visit us. We are really appreciative of this kind gesture as it demonstrates the commitment of the People’s Republic of China towards the deepening of relations between our two countries, “ Ratu Epeli told Mr Wu.
“Please be assured of our unwavering commitment towards the strengthening of our relations in our endeavour to further advance issues that are of common interest to us.”
He said since the formal establishment of diplomatic relations of the two countries in November 1975, they had witnessed how it had grown from strength to strength.
“Your Excellency, over the years, we have established visa arrangements for Chinese visitors visiting Fiji for visas to be approved on arrival.
“We would like to request if you could look into having the same arrangement for Fijians visiting your great country.”
His office said Mr Wu had agreed in principal on Fiji’s request with their foreign affairs ministry to follow suit in the near future.
“The high-level visits by delegations to each of our countries are clear indications of our friendship. More recently, the historic visit to Nadi in 2006 by Premier Wen Jiabao, followed by recent visits of high level government officials are good examples of this strengthening of ties.  Our delegations have also enjoyed your hospitality for which we are very grateful, “Ratu Epeli said.  “We have gained tremendously in the areas of trade, economic development, politics and in many other sectors from the assistance by the PRC.  On our part, we remain firm on our position in relation to the ‘One China Policy’ in accordance with the principles and spirit of the UN Charter. We hope to enhance our relations on trade and tourism and also our people to people exchanges.
“Fiji recognises and honours the One China Policy. Although Fiji and Taiwan enjoy good trade and economic relations, Fiji sees Taiwan as an integral part of China.”
He said Fiji had been appreciative of China’s technical assistance in agriculture, extraction of minerals, tourism and training programmes – the latest being CELAP, China Executive Leadership Academy Pudong.
Government has also been able to access Chinese government’s concessional loans worth $285 million through the Export-Import Bank of China to upgrade its infrastructure in road links, hospitals, public housing projects and enhanced its capabilities.
Ratu Epeli said Fiji hoped that this visit would be a fruitful and rewarding one for Mr Wu and he reiterated that Fiji looked forward to preserving cordial relations in its future engagements with China.



FS JAB DRIVE


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