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Regional News

Panuelo promises FSM-China relations to be taken to a new high

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services) — On June 4, 2019, David W. Panuelo, president of the Federated States of Micronesia, and Yosiwo P. George, vice president of the FSM, received Huang Zheng, ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in a courtesy call.

Among the topics discussed were the tentative timeframe for President Panuelo to formally visit China, the upcoming joint national inauguration on July 29, 2019, the status of forthcoming and ongoing development assistance projects within the FSM, and President Panuelo’s request that China consider supporting the long-term financial sustainability of the FSM through direct contributions to the FSM Trust Fund.

David Panuelo

“I always get excited when [we] say we want to take [FSM-China relations] to a new high…in that spirit, I hope China can look at [the FSM Trust Fund] as a mechanism that moves the FSM forward in terms of financial security,” said President Panuelo. “In the administration of [Vice President George] and I, we should emphasize a strong foreign policy to cultivate more relations with our strong bilateral partners…China is a strong bilateral partner.”

“We value very much our relationship, and I will continue to emphasize that the FSM be guided by the One-China policy: we’re not going to change that,” continued President Panuelo. “We turn to you because we believe that a strong bilateral relationship like ours…can assist with shortfalls in the context of helping [the FSM Trust Fund].”

President Panuelo emphasized his agreement with Ambassador Huang that the One-China policy is the “bedrock” of FSM-China relations.

“I understand your concern and will work very hard for China to give more assistance in the form of inputs into the FSM Trust Fund,” said Ambassador Huang. “I know it’s very important for [the FSM’s] financial security.”

President Panuelo and Ambassador Huang also discussed other issues of mutual interest to the FSM and China, including China’s request that the FSM support Dr. Qu Dongyu, vice-minister of agriculture and rural affairs, for the position of director-general in the United Nations’ Food & Agriculture Organization. The election for FAO’s director-general is scheduled to occur on June 24, 2019 in Rome, Italy.

“I don’t see any problem with our support [for Dr. Qu Dongyu],” said President Panuelo, “but we’ll have to hear from [Jane Chigiyal] our ambassador to the U.N.”

The FSM is dedicated towards producing positive and peaceful relationships with all countries and peoples throughout the world. Sept. 11, 2019, marks the 30th anniversary of formal diplomatic relations between the FSM and China, and it is the hope of the FSM national government that the FSM and China will be able to cooperate more closely over the next 30 years and beyond, with our strengthened relations reaching to a new high.