Samoa-China relations celebrate 35 years

The Head of State and Prime Minister at the celebrations last Friday evening

APIA: 8 Nov 2010: Samoa and China celebrated 35 years since the establishment of the diplomatic ties 6 November 1975.

His Highness the Head of State, Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi who signed the diplomatic ties in 1975 as Prime Minister, was present at the celebrations last Friday 6 November at the Chinese Embassy at Vailima.

The Premier of the State Council of the Peoples Republic of China, Wen Jiabao offered his best wishes to the Government and people of Samoa on the 35th anniversary saying Samoa is a good friend and partner of China.

“The establishment of our diplomatic relations in 6 November 1975 opened a new chapter for the relations between or two countries,” he wrote to Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi.
“Samoa is a good friend and partner of China. The establishment of our diplomatic relations 6 November 1975 opened a new chapter for the relationship between our two countries. We achieved a remarkable progresss in or bilateral relations over the past 35 years. With frequent high level visits, the exchanges and coopearation between us in various fields such as economic, trade, education and health expand constantly which brings tangible benefits to our two countries and peoples.

“The Chinese government attaches great importance to the development of the friendly cooperative relations between China and Samoa. We would like to work hard with the Samoan government and take the opportunity of the 35th anniversary to further enhance our high level and other level exchanges and broaden practical cooperation in various fields that we can promote our bilateral relations to a new stage and bring benefits to our two peoples better,” said Wen Jiabao.

In response, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said the relationship between the countries has moved from strength to strength reflecting the close bond nurtured over the years.

“I would like to take this opportunity to again acknowledge with gratitude China’s strong support of Samoa’s development efforts through assistance in various sectors of our economy,” said Tuilaepa.

While diplomatic relations may have been established 35 years ago, the relations between Samoa and China go back to colonial times when a group of Chinese workers were brought over by the German administrators to work in their plantations in Samoa in the 1900’s.

Several stayed and inter-married and their children have been leaders in various sectors from politics to business, church and sports.

When the relations were formalised between Samoa and China, there was strong opposition from the church in establishing relations with a Communist country.

China has since been a strong supporter of Samoa’s economic development with the major buildings in town built by Chinese funding and manpower. China also helped build the major sports facilities at the Apia Park and the Aquatic center at Tuana’imato.

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