Vice Minister Zheng Zeguang of China visits FSM Congress

Palikir, Pohnpei- On August 16, 2017, Congressman David W. Panuelo, Chairman of the Standing Committee on Resources and Development, who was designated by Speaker Simina to appear on his behalf, welcomed a high level delegation visit from the People’s Republic of China led by the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, The Honorable Zheng Zeguang. Chairman Panuelo on behalf of the Speaker and Congress extended words of gratitude and warm welcome to the delegation and assured the delegation on the importance of China’s presence in the Pacific Region, especially in the FSM. Chairman Panuelo further assured the delegation on how the FSM values China’s effort in providing developmental assistance and technical cooperation to the FSM. Chairman Panuelo then highlighted the importance of the FSM Trust Fund that the government of FSM, in conjunction with the Compact Trust Fund, will rely on after the expiration of the Compact’s economic assistance by the year 2023. As it stands, the FSM trust fund is at 110 million and will need to be supplemented in order to reach maturity by 2023. He also relayed the sentiments of Speaker Simina and all members of Congress that they are doing their best to build up the FSM Trust Fund and that the nation appreciates the efforts that China has helped with the FSM in its effort to achieve self-reliance. Tantamount in importance to China’s developmental assistance and technical cooperation, Chairman Panuelo stated his hope that China will consider prioritizing additional assistance to the FSM Trust Fund as it is another area of urgency to the FSM in the near future. Chairman Panuelo concluded his remarks by adding that the FSM Congress continues to recognize and is fully committed to the one-China policy.

The Vice Minister, Hon. Zheng Zeguang expressed gratitude for the opportunity given to his delegation to have the chance to meet Chairman Panuelo and hoped for further exchanges between the two legislative bodies of the FSM and China in an effort to continue to foster peace and harmony between the two countries. The Vice Minister stated that the successful historic visit by His Excellency, FSM President Peter M. Christian to China, to reaffirm and strengthen its relationship with China, will definitely benefit the FSM. In regards to the FSM Trust Fund, Vice Minister Zeguang assured Chairman Panuelo that he will seriously consider supporting it, and further added that China will continue to assist FSM with the development of transportation and infrastructure.Vice Minister Zeguang also pointed out his appreciation for the social exchange of people between our two countries evident by the recent cultural performances of Yapese dancers who visited China with other Micronesians. The Vice Minister also expressed his continuing support of the scholarship program that China has extended to the benefit of all eligible FSM students.

Chairman Panuelo and Vice Minister Zheng Zeguang concluded the meeting by exchanging mutual words of continued cooperation and better understanding between their two countries.