On the morning of May 3, 2018, Her Excellency Wu Xi, China’s new Ambassador to New Zealand, the Cook Islands and Niue, presented her Letter of Credence to His Excellency Tom Marsters, the Queen's Representative to the Cook Islands at Rarotonga. Also present were Prime Minister of the Cook Islands His Excellency Henry Puna, Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Ms. Tepaeru Herrmann and Commercial Counselor Huang Yuefeng from the Chinese Embassy in New Zealand.
Ambassador Wu conveyed the cordial regards of President Xi Jinping to Queen's Representative Tom Marsters. Mr Marsters expressed his thanks and asked Ambassador Wu to convey his sincere greetings and best wishes to President Xi Jinping.
Ambassador Wu noted that China attaches great importance to its relations with the Cook Islands and appreciates the Cook Islands’ commitment to the one-China policy. With the joint efforts of the two sides, bilateral relations have maintained sound development momentum. In 2014, President Xi Jinping met with the leaders of the Pacific Islands including the Cook Islands. All the leaders unanimously agreed to establish a strategic partnership on the basis of mutual respect and common development. China would like to work with the Cook Islands to implement the important consensus reached by the two leaders and promote this bilateral relationshiop to a new level for the benefit of the two peoples and make positive contributions to securing peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia Pacific region and beyond.
On behalf of the Cook Islands Government and its people, Mr Marsters expressed his warm welcome to Ambassador Wu. He noted that regardless of the fact that the Cook Islands and China are geographically far apart, people-to-people exchanges started centuries ago. The two countries formally established diplomatic ties in 1997, marking a new chapter in bilateral relations. Over the past 21 years since the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and the Cook Islands, mutual political trust has continued to deepen with closer economic and trade relations, advanced cultural exchanges and extensive cooperation in various fields including infrastructure and health. The Cook Islands looks forward to working with China to promote bilateral relations to a new level.
Mr Marsters noted that over the years, China has been providing selfless assistance to the Cook Islands for its economic and social development. The handover ceremony to be held the next day for the Apii Nikao School project - the Chinese Government's aid project in the Cook Islands, is a successful example of the development of bilateral relations and the best evidence for friendship between the two peoples. The water supply project in the Cook Islands involving China and New Zealand is the first tripartite cooperative project between China and the Cook Islands. Mr Marsters believed that under the joint efforts of the three countries, the water project will become another successful example of the partnership between China and the Cook Islands.
Mr Marsters noted that the Cook Islands and the South Pacific region are located in the heart of the Pacific Ocean. The region is rich in fishery and seabed mineral resources with a unique tourism and cultural environment. The Cook Islands would like to strengthen cooperation with China to further promote connections and friendship between the two countries and also with other countries in the world, so as to better benefit the people of the Cook Islands and the South Pacific region.