On July 1, China and Vanuatu held a video conference to discuss the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic. The two sides exchanged views on how China and Vanuatu can learn from each other in fighting against the virus. The conference was themed "Cooperation against COVID-19 and working together for development".
Song Tao, Minister of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), and Bob Loughman Weibur (MP), Prime Minister of Vanuatu and also President of Vanua'aku Party, addressed the meeting.
Song Tao, Minister of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, speaks at the video conference held between China and Vanuatu on July 1, 2020. (Photo: IDCPC)
Song said that China-Vanuatu relations are at the best period in history and are a model for China's relations with other Pacific Island countries. This is thanks to efforts from both sides. President Xi Jinping met with the leaders of Vanuatu and elevated China-Vanuatu relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership featuring mutual respect and common development, paving the road for a brighter future of bilateral relations.
The CPC maintains close contacts with major political parties in Vanuatu such as the Vanua'aku Party. China appreciates that the Vanuatu side has given China firm support on issues relating to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Xinjiang, and is willing to strengthen political mutual trust, exchange experience in governance with Vanuatu, and contribute to the development of bilateral relations to benefit the two countries and peoples.
Song said, the COVID-19 global pandemic has hit countries around the world. With Xi's leadership, the CPC Central Committee has put the safety and health of the people first, promoted China's epidemic prevention and control, and successfully kept the outbreak under control. China has actively participated in international outbreak relief work, and provided assistance within its capacity to all countries in the world.
Some countries have used the virus to "stigmatize" China, and that has seriously undermined global efforts in fighting against the pandemic. China is willing to provide more support to the Pacific Island countries to help them fight against the outbreak, achieve economic recovery, improve people's livelihood and promote the building of a global community of health.
Loughman asked Song to convey his cordial greetings to General Secretary Xi Jinping, and extend his warm congratulations as the day marked the 99th anniversary of the founding of the CPC and the 23rd anniversary of Hong Kong's handover to China.
Loughman thanked China for its long-term assistance to the economic and social development of Vanuatu, as well as its timely assistance to the country in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and hurricanes disasters. Loughman reiterated that Vanuatu firmly adheres to the One-China policy, supports China's efforts to maintain national security, and looks forward to strengthening exchanges and mutual learning with the CPC. Vanuatu will continue to work with China to promote their bilateral strategic partnership, and join hands to build a community with a shared future for mankind.