On May 12, Ambassador Wang Lutong and the Cook Islands Prime Minister, Henry Puna, attended the groundbreaking ceremony of Apii Nikao Primary School - the Chinese government's aid project in the Cook Islands.
In his speech, Prime Minister Henry Puna expressed his heartfelt thanks to the Chinese Government for its generous support for the redevelopment of the important livelihood project of Apii Nikao Primary School. Mr. Puna highly praised the project for helping the Cook Islands Government to solve the schooling problem facing local students. The project is an important manifestation of the friendly relations between China and the Cook Islands, and is of great significance for the social development of the Cook Islands.
In his speech, Ambassador Wang noted that 'It takes ten years to grow trees but a hundred years to rear people'. Education is essential for the sustainable development of a nation. On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the Cook Islands, the groundbreaking of the Chinese Government's aid project - Apii Nikao Primary School, is a symbol and milestone of friendship and cooperation between China and the Cook Islands. Ambassador Wang hoped that the Chinese construction companies could work closely with relevant departments of the Cook Islands to deliver the Apii Nikao Primary School project on schedule with the highest quality, to ensure the teachers and students can start the new semester in Apii Nikao Primary School starting from 2018.
Prime Minister Puna, Ambassador Wang Lutong, Counselor Zhang Fan, representatives from the Cook Islands community and heads of the Chinese construction companies jointly laid the foundation for the project. Over 300 people attended the groundbreaking ceremony, including all the teachers and students of Apii Nikao Primary School, representatives from local communities and from the Chinese construction companies.
During their stay in the Cook Islands, Ambassador Wang and the Chinese Embassy's personnel also met with the staff of the Chinese construction companies and studied the usage of heavy machinery in the Cook Islands under the Chinese government's aid projects.