China Opens New Embassy Residence as Samoa Celebrates Year of the Dragon

“The celebration of these milestones this evening provides an opportunity for us to reflect on how far we have come in the achievement of our goals for our planet, people, peace and prosperity..”

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By: Leota Marc Membrere

Samoa and the People’s Republic of China celebrated the Chinese New Year on Thursday evening at the official opening of the new Embassy residence.

The coming together of both peoples reflect the two countries continuous strong relations.

Head of State Afioga Tuimaleali’ifano Va’aletoa Sualauvi II, Member of the Council of Deputies Le Mamea Ropati Mualia, Members of Cabinet and Members of Parliament attended the event.

Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mataafa speaking on behalf of the Government of Samoa wished the Government and the people of the People’s Republic of China through the Ambassador a warm felicitations on the celebration of their New Year.

And, ‘the start of the Spring Festival in this year of the Dragon’.

Fiame congratulated China on opening their new residence at Avele acknowledging that the opening of diplomatic missions anywhere is a commitment to diplomacy and peace.

The Prime Minister said since the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries in 1975, the in-country presence of China ‘was a journey from humble beginnings.

This journey started at the property of Mrs Betty Moors at Matautu to the Vailima premises in 2006 and now the shift to Avele a year before the celebration of 50 years of official bilateral ties between the two countries.

“The celebration of these milestones this evening provides an opportunity for us to reflect on how far we have come in the achievement of our goals for our planet, people, peace and prosperity,” said Prime Minister Fiame.

“It is also a time to review the partnerships we have committed to and ensure they remain relevant and mutually beneficial.”

Fiame explained that the opening of the new Embassy’s premises is a milestone that is symbolic of the strong and durable partnership that the two nations have forged over the years.

“A structure that not only will house the expansion of staff but also reflecting permanence signifying long lasting relations in the years to come,” she says.

The Prime Minister emphasised that China has been a reliable friend in times of need such as the provision of emergency medical and humanitarian aid during the measles epidemic in 2019 and COVID-19 in 2020.

She said the close relations between the two countries continues through cooperation in the areas of health, education/training, and agriculture, the building of administrative and social infrastructure including sports.

“Happy Chinese New Year!”

Speaking on behalf of the People’s Republic of China, Ambassador Fei Mingxing used 3C words, to share the wonderful moments of 2023, and looks forward to a promising future.

• Celebration

• Commitment

• Continuity

These words were reflective of the relationship between Samoa and the People’s Republic of China through developments such as the Samoa China Agriculture Technical Aid Project (SCATAP), the police academy project, the Confucius Institute, scholarships and many more.

“China will continue its cooperation with Samoa in fields of agriculture, fishery, climate change, education, health and more, for tangible benefits to our two beloved peoples. I’m also calling all Chinese institutions and citizens in Samoa to continue their roles as bridges and make new contributions to China-Samoa relations,” the Ambassador stressed.

As for the New Year’s celebration, Ambassador Fei says that this year is the Year of the Dragon, and the dragon means bravery, wisdom, diligence, pioneering and good luck in the Chinese culture.

“To the prosperity of our two countries and peoples. To the brighter future of China-Samoa relations. To the health and happiness of all guests. Fa’afetai. Thank you. 谢谢!”

Photos: Leota Marc Membrere