WELCOME TO PNG, HIS EXCELLENCY WANG YI: PM MARAPE
PNG Prime Minister, James Marape this afternoon welcomed the Chinese Foreign Minister, His Excellency Wang Yi to the country’s shores.
In a press statement, PM Marape said Papua New Guinea remains “friends to all and enemies to none.”
He added this has been its stance since Independence in 1975 under first Prime Minister and founder of Pangu Pati Sir Michael Somare.
The Chinese Foreign Minister, His Excellency Wang Yi is the third highest person in the Chinese Cabinet. Yi is on an eight-nation tour of the Pacific.
“PNG is ‘friends to all and enemies to none’ , as espoused in our foundational foreign policy outlook in 1975 under the Pangu Pati-led Government of Sir Michael Somare,” PM Marape said.
“In 1976, Pangu, under the wisdom of Sir Michael, declared a One-China Policy long before the geo-politics of today.
“The present PNG leadership will maintain this policy discourse.
“China is the major buyer of our produce, and we will engage with them more in commerce and trade, as well as other aspects of our bilateral relationship going into the future.”
PM Marape said China was the second-largest economy in the world and had always been a “very strategic and important bilateral partner with PNG”.
“For the Chinese Foreign Minister to visit us is affirmation of the warm relationship and friendship between our two countries,” he said.
“Papua New Guinea recognises China as a very-important bilateral partner in not just matters to government-to-government relationships, but more importantly, people-to-people relationships and business-to-business relationships.
“China buys over 50 per cent of all the gas produced in our country, through PNG LNG, and have given an undertaking to buy additional gas that we produce from Papua LNG and possibly P’nyang.
“China also imports most of our raw materials, and with PNG moving more into downstream processing, I look forward to them also buying our processed produce.
“I look forward to meeting with the Chinese Foreign Minister tomorrow (June 3 2022).
“For him to visit us at this point in time is a reflection and gesture of his belief that PNG is an important country in the Indo-Pacific Region.
“I welcome His Excellency, Wang Yi, back into the country as he has been here before.”
Meanwhile, PM Marape said for Ialibu-Pangia MP Peter O’Neill to question the visit of the Chinese Foreign Minister, was very unbecoming of a former prime minister.
“The former prime minister knows very well not to play politics with the visit of an international leader to our country,” he said.
“The Chinese Foreign Minister is a leader of a very-important country.
“For O’Neill to go against the visit is, in my view, childish and playing politics.
“Instead of supporting the visit by the third most-powerful man in China, O’Neill continues to belittle Papua New Guinea’s international relationships, which is very bad.
“The visit by the Chinese Foreign Minister has got nothing to do with politics, as he has visited other Pacific countries before PNG, and we appreciate the visit – however short it may be.
“The Chinese Foreign Minister could have chosen not to visit PNG; however, he chose to visit us.
“I, on behalf of all the people of PNG, am grateful for the visit and welcome him into the country.”