31 May 2022
The Government of the Kingdom of Tonga warmly welcomed H.E. Wang Yi, State Councilor and Minister for Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China to Tonga, on a two-day visit from Tuesday 31st of May to Wednesday 01st of June 2022.
H.E. Wang Yi is paying official visits to eight countries with strong bilateral ties to China including Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga and Vanuatu. The visits reinforce the good friendship China holds with the Pacific Island Countries and provide a platform to discuss issues of common developments and interest.
During H.E. Wang Yi’s visit to Nuku’alofa, he was granted a royal audience of His Majesty King Tupou VI, and met with the Prime Minister of Tonga, Hon. Hu’akavameiliku and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism, Hon. Fekitamoeloa ‘Utoikamanu. Both meetings focused on mutual respect and the common interest of the people of China and Tonga.
The Hon. Hu’akavameiliku highlighted Tonga’s strict adherence to the One China Policy and the mutual respect for each other’s sovereignty. The principle remains the core foundation of Tonga-China relations since the normalization of diplomatic relations in 1998, and continues to outline the high-level comprehensive strategic partnership between our two countries.
Hon. Hu’akavameiliku conveyed Tonga’s gratitude to China with the relief assistances offered after the volcanic eruption of Hunga Tonga and Hunga Ha’apai, and tsunami. China had dispatched two Chinese Navy Ships, two Chinese Fishing Vessels and two Y-20 Military Aircrafts to personally deliver relief items to assist with the restoration of the Tongan people’s lives. China continued to help Tonga during the outbreak of the COVID pandemic by offering PPE items and other relevant assistances.
The fruitful talks between the Hon. Hu’akavameiliku and H.E. Wang Yi, concluded with the signing ceremony of several ‘bilateral’ cooperation agreements that shall assist in Tonga’s long-term development in areas of common interest between the two Governments. This included (i) Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Communications and Climate Change of the Kingdom of Tonga and the Ministry of Emergency Management of the People’s Republic of China on Cooperation in the Area of Disaster Risk Reduction and Emergency Response; (ii) Memorandum of Understanding on Deepening Blue Economy Cooperation between the Ministry of Trade and Economic Development of the Kingdom of Tonga and the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China; (iii) Handover Certificate on the China-Aid Non-intrusive Imaging Inspection Equipment Project to Tonga Customs Between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of the Kingdom of Tonga; (iv) Letter of Exchanges on the Provision of One Fingerprint Examination Laboratory between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of the Kingdom of Tonga; (v) Memorandum of Understanding between China and Tonga on the Grant-Aid Assistance provided by Dongguan City, Guangdong Province, People’s Republic of China to the Government of the Kingdom of Tonga in 2022; and (vi) Agreement for the Peripheral Area of Mala’ekula Royal Tomb Improvement Project.
H.E. Wang Yi will depart Nuku’alofa on Wednesday 01st June 2022.