Fijian leaders bid farewell to outgoing Chinese ambassador

10:11, June 10, 2011      

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Fiji's Acting President Justice Anthony Gates and Prime Minister Commodore Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama led high-ranking officials, together with diplomatic envoys from various countries, went to the Chinese ambassador's residence to bid the outgoing Ambassador Han Zhiqiang farewell, highlighting the importance of development of bilateral ties between the two countries.

Gates, who is also the Chief Justice of Fiji, said that " indeed, Fiji has upgraded its relations with China" and the two countries "have enjoyed formal diplomatic relations for almost 36 years now".

The bilateral cooperation "has flourished cordially, significantly and obviously," he said.

The Fijian acting president thanked China for its friendly assistance and support, saying "Fiji has received generous benefits through infrastructure development, human resource development, technical expertise and financial assistance. In return, Fiji has made available its mineral resources for sustainable use through investment opportunities."

Ambassador Han expressed his thanks to the government and the people of Fiji for the support to his work and to China as well, saying "I have lived and worked in the beautiful and natural scenery of Fiji and the friendship of the Fijian people."

He told the distinguished guests that "our bilateral relationship has enjoyed sound momentum and the friendship between our two peoples have been deepened. The cooperation and exchanges between our two countries not only play an important role in the promotion of economic development and social wellbeing of Fiji, but also in the promotion of the stability and prosperity of the Pacific islands region."

"I'm also very much impressed by Fiji's achievements in reform, development and 'building a better Fiji' despite of remarkable challenges and difficulties," Han said.

Earlier in the day, Fijian Prime Minister Bainimarama led members of his cabinet to attend a luncheon for the outgoing Chinese ambassador.

Ambassador Han will return to China later this month before taking up his new posting.

Source: Xinhua
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