RAROTONGA, Cook Islands, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- China will continue cooperating with Pacific island countries to promote regional development and prosperity on the basis of equality and mutual respect, Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai said here on Friday.
Speaking at the Pacific Islands Forum meeting's post-forum dialogue partners meeting, also attended by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and representatives of the European Union, Japan and other major partners, Cui laid out Beijing's efforts to promote the economic and social development of these island countries.
Cui said China plans to host the second China-Pacific Island Countries Economic Development and Cooperation Forum, and is looking forward to more visits from island countries' leaders.
Since 2011, he said, China has assisted island countries in building business centers, setting up community colleges and constructing infrastructure facilities, adding that China also provided humanitarian assistance to island countries facing natural disasters.
In order to help island countries meet the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, he said China has sent medical teams to address health issues in countries such as Samoa and Vanuatu.
Concerning the environmental protection issue, he said China would donate 6 million U.S. dollars to a trust fund of the UN Environmental Program in a bid to improve island countries' capacity to protect the environment.
Meanwhile, China will conduct a 3-year international cooperation project worth 200 million Renminbi (some 31 million dollars) to help small island countries and the least developed countries to cope with climate change, and provide financial assistance to the cooperation fund of the China-Pacific Islands Forum, the Pacific Islands Trade and Investment Commission, and the Pacific Regional Environmental Programme.
On the development of marine and fishery resource, Cui said China would strengthen cooperation with island countries in marine conservation, deep-sea exploration, and fishery resources conservation and management.
China will also hold training sessions on marine resources management and environmental protection for these countries, deepen cooperation on exploration of deep-sea mineral resources and promote the sustainable use of resources.
Cui also said China will enhance the exchanges of women's organizations between China and island countries, saying that China is willing to share experience on promoting women's development and gender equality, and to provide assistance and training to advance women's course in the region.
Speaking on cultural and people-to-people exchanges, Cui said China welcomes political leaders of the island countries to attend the China International Tourism Fair to be held in Shanghai in November, and will grant scholarship to more students from these countries. China will also support the University of the South Pacific to open a Confucius Institute, and arrange more Chinese art troupes to perform in island countries.
The Chinese official said China will continue cooperating with Pacific island countries to promote regional development and prosperity on the basis of equality and mutual respect.
He noted that China, New Zealand and the Cook Islands have issued a joint statement announcing a new partnership that will supply improved water to the people of Rarotonga, the Cook Islands' main island.