Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

FSM Celebrates 20 Years of Diplomatic Relations with China

Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): September 18, 2009 - On September 11th, 2009, FSM President Emanuel Mori sent a letter of greetings and congratulations to President Hu Jintao of the People's Republic of China to mark the historic event of 20 years of diplomatic relations for the two countries. In his letter, President Mori stated that, "We have come a long way in a short time to realize true friendship based on a solid foundation of shared interests and values" and that "our relationship has matured considerably during these years, thanks to the diligent and committed work demonstrated through joint efforts by our two peoples in forging a model relationship that we can both be proud of."

This 20 year anniversary is being celebrated jointly by the FSM and China. In FSM, the Chinese Embassy in conjunction with the FSM Department of Foreign Affairs, held a dinner reception to celebrate the event on the night of September 15th at the Cliff Hotel in Kolonia, Pohnpei. The reception was attended by President Mori, Vice President Alik, Speaker Figir, and members of the 16th FSM Congress and the President's Cabinet. Also in attendance was Pohnpei Governor John Ehsa, Pohnpei Legislature Speaker Nelson Phelep, members of Pohnpei State legislature and executive branch, members of the diplomatic community, including co-host Ambassador Zhang Weidong and his wife, and former FSM President John Haglelgam, who was President of the FSM back in 1989.

The event featured excerpts of a letter from Chinese President Hu Jintao to President Mori, commemorating the 20 year anniversary. President Hu Jintao stated that "the establishment of the diplomatic relations opened a new page for the two countries relations, and since then, with our joint efforts, we have maintained a good momentum of the bilateral relations development. Exchanges at the top and other levels have been frequent, communication and cooperation in various fields have been expanded and mutual understanding and friendship have been increased." President Hu Jintao also said that "the friendly and reciprocal cooperation between the two countries has not only delivered real benefits to our two peoples, but also promoted stability and prosperity in the Pacific island region."

Chinese Ambassador Zhang Weidong gave remarks at the reception that focused on the progress that the past twenty years have seen between the two countries. He described these years as a "scoring period" and said that "we indeed have scored a lot". His speech highlighted the expansion of economic cooperation and explained that the total volume of trade between China and the FSM has increased from "almost zero to $9.5 million in 2007. The Ambassador listed many of the projects that FSM has benefited from, namely the FSM-China Friendship Sports Center at the COM-FSM Palikir campus, the Pohnpei State Administration Building, the Pilot farm in Pohnpei, the high school building in Kosrae, the Pilot Biogas Project in Chuuk and Pohnpei, and the cargo-passenger vessel project in Yap. The Ambassador stated that the accomplishments during the past two decades "shall be attributed to the wise leadership of the two countries, to the hard work of both government and congress officials from all levels and also to the strong support of the two peoples from different walks of life."

Speaking on behalf of the FSM Government, Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Lorin Robert, talked about how far the two countries have come in a relatively short amount of time. He said that "FSM-China relation is strong and has achieved a degree of maturity that we can both be proud of" and that it is "a relationship underpinned by shared interests, aspirations and principles such as the One-China Policy." Secretary Robert also acknowledged the leaders present that pioneered and worked hard to make this relationship what it is today. He specifically named former President John Haglelgam, Andon Amaraich as former Secretary and architect of our relation, Asterio Takesy, Isaac Figir, a long time Chairman of the External Affairs Committee, and many other state and national leaders." Secretary Robert also pointed out that the FSM-China relations is at an important juncture in its twenty-year history and spoke of facing challenges such as climate change, nuclear proliferation and terrorism. He stated that, "these challenges require common resolve, concerted actions, and dedicated vigilance to defeat them and to turn them into opportunities" and said "this is why FSM is proud to have friends like China- to enable us to face these challenges head on."

After the speeches, the evening also held a buffet dinner, traditional Pohnpeian dancing and a display of traditional Chinese kung-fu, martial arts skills.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356