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The Ultimate Oceania Travel Guide
Papua New Guinea

PNG China relationship rock solid

Papua New Guinea has made no qualms about why they value their relationship with China.

PNG was a must on the list for the visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. This was an unprecedented visit by the Chinese to the Pacific as they tried to get nations to agree to a regional deal.

Pacific nations backed down on this but called on the Chinese to deal with this matter at a regional level through the Pacific Islands Forum and get consensus on the issue.

PNG Prime Minister James Marape stated last week that the China-PNG relationship could not be compromised or sabotaged.

He said for PNG the focus is strengthening economic relationships with China, and that the country is a large export market and PNG was looking to grow trade with China.

“We export more to China than we import from China,” he said.

Mr Wang stated that the relationship between the two nations was for the good of all.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi holds talks with Foreign Minister of Papua New Guinea Soroi Eoe. Picture: Lijian Zhao Twitter

“Facts have proved that sound China-PNG relations not only bring huge benefits to the two countries and two peoples, but also help improve the overall relations between China and the Pacific Island countries,” said Mr Wang through a translator.

“PNG is China’s largest trading partner, investment destination and project-contracting market in the South Pacific region.”

China and PNG agreed to seek greater synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and the Connect PNG Infrastructure Development Programme 2020-2040.

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The two nations have also agreed to work together to complete the feasibility study of the free trade agreement at an early date, and strengthen experience-sharing on the development of special economic zones.

“PNG is an important strategic cooperative partner of China in the South Pacific region,” said Mr Wang.

“China will continue to provide economic and technical assistance with no political strings attached for PNG to help its economic and social development.”

PNG has the biggest land mass and population from the region and China’s dealing has to do with the influence the nation has in the Asia-Pacific region.

Papua New Guinea has made no qualms about why they value their relationship with China. Picture: Lijian Zhao Twitter

The two nations have history. PNG was the first Pacific island nation to sign the memorandum of understanding and cooperation plan with China on Belt and Road cooperation.

While the Marape government have made deals with China, the opposition are using this as ammunition in the general elections.

Peter O’Neill who was Prime Minister when the nation hosted the APEC Summit where 40 Maserati cars were bought for AU$7 million, has had a change of tune towards China.

He said if his party, the People’s National Congress come into power, the agreements would be nullified.

He stated the agreements were not taken undertaken in the right spirit or in accordance with the country’s democratic value.

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