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“Organizing medical tours to and cultural exchanges with Pacific island countries”

2016-01-21 11:16:30

The ancestors of the Federated States of Micronesia and other Pacific island countries were Chinese who came here more than 5,000 years ago.” The history textbook issued by the Ministry of Education of the Federated States of Micronesia clearly records the long-standing relationship between China and the Pacific island countries.

    Pacific island countries usually refer to 14 South Pacific island countries such as Fiji, Micronesia, Tonga, and the Cook Islands. They are a series of beautiful pearls scattered in the South Pacific region. For a long time, China has attached great importance to the development of friendly relation with Pacific island countries. In November last year, President Xi Jinping paid a state visit to Fiji and met with leaders of the Pacific island countries, which opened a new milestone in the development of relation between China and Pacific island countries.

    As one of the provinces closest to the Pacific island countries in southern China, Guangdong has maintained good relation with Pacific island countries for a long time. The“Organizing medical tours to and cultural exchanges with Pacific island countries project has become a shining business card of Guangdong in the region, welcomed by the people of the islands. Nowadays, a large number of Guangdong enterprises are actively investing in fisheries, education and tourism, contributing to local economic development and social progress.

    Guangdong enterprises could focus on investing in fisheries, agriculture and tourism

    In the busy Suva Port of Fiji, a Guangdong fishing boat just returned and was immediately surrounded by several transport vehicles. A group of local workers came down from the cars and transferred the fishing to a nearby fish processing factory. This is a microcosm of the investment of fisheries by Guangdong enterprises in the Pacific island region.

    Thanks to the vast sea area and the amiable climate, most of the Pacific island countries are rich in fishery resources. Take Fiji as an example. This small island country, with a land area of only 18,300 square kilometers situated near the center of the Pacific Ocean, has a water area of 1.29 million square kilometers. Various precious fish thrive in the local waters. Rich fishery resources, relatively open economic policies, and the mature experience of the Guangdong enterprises in this field have prompted a group of Guangdong enterprises to invest in local fisheries.

    Agriculture is another key investment industry. In Tonga, due to the lack of advanced technology, the country's farming methods are still primitive, crop varieties are monotonous, and production is very low, thus looking forward to investors from China. Semisi T. FakahauMinister of Agriculture, Food, Forestry and Fisheries of Tonga said earlier that Tonga was looking forward to deepen cooperation with China in agriculture and other fields, and China was not only a source of technology and equipment, but also a huge market.

    Tourism is another sunrise industry in Pacific island countries. These island countries generally have beautiful islands, coastlines, beaches and other unique sceneries, attracting more and more tourists from all over the world every year. The lack of tourist reception capacity is a major bottleneck that has plagued the development of local tourism. Halatoa Fua, CEO of the Cook Islands Tourism Corporation, also said in an interview with the Nanfang Daily reporter that with the increasing number of foreign tourists, the tourist capacity of the country has become saturated, and Guangdong Enterprises are welcomed to invest in hotels and other facilities.

   Guangdong is an important province of cooperation between China and Pacific island countries 

  Guangdong's cooperation with Pacific island countries enjoys a long-standing history, a big scale and a deep level, as well as frequent personnel exchanges. From 2007 till now, Guangdong Province has sent many delegations to visit Pacific island countries such as Fiji, Vanuatu and the Cook Islands, and created the “Organizing medical tours to and cultural exchanges with Pacific island countries project, which was popular among the people of the Pacific island countries.

    In 2011, Guangdong Province sent two art groups to visit the seven countries of South Pacific, and performed for the local government officials and ordinary people, setting up a “Guangdong whirlwind” in the local area. “Guangdong art groups often come to Tonga for performances. The show is very exciting. I watch it every time.” Sovaleni, Tonga's Deputy Prime Pinister, said that “cultural exchanges with Pacific island countries” has an intangible influence, and the people of Tonga had increased their knowledge and awareness of "China" in their laughter.

    Medical conditions in the island countries are generally poor, and hospitals, medical personnel and medical equipment in many countries are far from meeting the needs of local people. In July 2014, the Navua Hospital in Fiji, aided by China, was opened. With a service range covering nearly 30,000 people in the country, it is one of the largest modern hospitals in the central part of the country. Guangdong is also actively organizing medical tours to Pacific island countries,repeatedly sending medical delegations to make rounds of visits and provide free medicines.    

● Posted by  Qi Lei and Fu Yuqing(intern)