The Solomon Islands and People’s Republic of China (PRC) diplomatic ties have continued to yield positive results as it grows from strength to strength each day, just after three years of formalization.
And is even growing stronger as both diplomatic friends continue to expand their areas of cooperation to supporting and improving social and economic livelihoods of all rural Solomon Islanders.
“Just over three years ago, our friendship has grown stronger and stronger each day,” Minister for the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) Hon Duddley Kopu said.
Minister Kopu who was the guest of honour was speaking at the official handover ceremony of the Gao-Bugotu Constituency (GBC) office complex established at the GBC Development Growth Centre (CDGC) at Tatamba in Isabel Province on Wednesday 26th October, 2022.
Guest of Honour MRD Minister Hon. Duddley Kopu, Counsellor of the PRC Embassy Office in Honiara, Yao Ming, MP for Gao-Bugotu Constituency Hon. Samuel Manetoali, MRD Permanent Secretary Dr. Samson Viulu, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Environment Dr. Melchior Mataki, Assistant Police Commissioner Provincial Policing Leonard Tahnimana, MRD and constituency officers together with provincial and national government dignitaries
The office complex was funded by PRC and the Solomon Islands Government (SIG) with PRC funding the majority of the complex with over $600,000 dollars and SIG $200,000 dollars, bringing total cost to over $800,000.
Minister Kopu said SI-PRC friendship was established on mutual trust and respect adding it will continue to grow even stronger as both countries expand their areas of cooperation in the future.
“PRC is a true friend indeed,” Kopu said.
Representing PRC at the handing over ceremony was the Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy Office in Honiara, Yao Ming.
“China is committed to growing friendly cooperative ties with Solomon Islands in line with the principles of mutual respect, equality, win-win results and openness and inclusiveness.
“China will always remain a good friend and reliable partner whom Solomon Islands can trust and put SI people first in supporting the country’s rural development,” Counsellor Ming affirmed.
“This historic occasion has marked a great leap forward in our relations. The Chinese Embassy always stands ready to provide assistance on improving Isabel people’s livelihood. So, let us work together to embrace a better future for China-Solomon Islands relations,” Counsellor Ming stressed.
“Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Solomon Islands in 2019, our friendship has nurtured and flourished. The Chinese government adheres to the people-centered principle and pays high attention to SI rural development,” he added.
Counsellor of the PRC Embassy Office in Honiara, Yao Ming delivers his remarks
Counsellor Ming then revealed to the people of Gao-Bugotu and Isabel Province that the Chinese Embassy is now working to promote the sister relationship between Shandong Province and Isabel Province which he strongly believes will further provide opportunities for the social and economic development of Isabel.
Meanwhile, Minister Hon. Kopu on behalf of the DCGA government and the people of Solomon Islands with profound gratitude acknowledged the Chinese government (PRC) and its people for their unwavering and continuous support to the people of Solomon Islands through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) programme and other assistance.
“Despite the criticisms against the CDF, it continues to touch the lives of our people in the remote areas of the country and PRC is the only donor country that has contributed to the CDF since 2019.
“Solomon Islands appreciates the ongoing support from the People’s Republic of China and MRD in particular, looks forward to continuing collaborating with the Government of PRC to further implement projects in our rural communities throughout Solomon Islands in the coming years,” Minister Kopu said.
The office complex funded by SIG and PRC
The office complex consists of six office spaces and will house six government line ministries which include the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Forestry, Ministry of Traditional Governance, and the Isabel provincial treasury bureau.
Gao-Bugotu Constituency’s main priority is to bring basic government services more accessible in the rural areas, thus funding of the Tatamba office complex is a fine example to guarantee rural people access needed services in their communities than travelling to Honiara or provincial capital, Buala.