Honorable Premier Dalton Tagelagi,
Honorable Ministers Tatui，Tongatule and Ainuu,
Honorable Speaker of the House Hima Douglas,
Distinguished guests, dear friends,
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is my great pleasure to be here with you to witness the Commencement Ceremony of China-Aid Niue Ring Road Upgrade Project, an important milestone of our bilateral development cooperation. First of all, on behalf of the Chinese government, I wish to extend my warm congratulations to the government and people of Niue, to China Railway First Group and the Minister’s Office of Finance and Infrastructure. Your Honorable Premier Tagelagi, you have my deepest thanks for your personal attention and support to this Project. My appreciation also goes to the counterpart units of both sides for your close collaboration and unremitting efforts, to enable the commencement to proceed as planned and make this event possible.
Since the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Niue, bilateral relations have progressed well. We have cemented political trust and conducted win-win cooperation. We have stepped up people-to-people exchanges and collaboration in international affairs. Suffice to say, China-Niue relations are exemplary for cooperation between countries irrespective of their difference in size to cooperate. In 2014, the two sides set up a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership featuring mutual respect and common development. Last November, we celebrated the 15th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties and ushered in a new chapter of cooperation.
Practical cooperation is an important pillar of our bilateral relations. Now China has become Niue’s second largest trading partner and the two sides signed a MOU on Belt and Road Cooperation, with practical cooperation advancing in many areas, such as trade, education, tourism, health care etc. Today, we are here to announce the Commencement of China-Aid Niue Ring Road Upgrade Project, which is a vivid example of our practical cooperation. It is the first large-scale infrastructure project in Niue supported by grants from China, to which both governments attach great importance and for which the Niue people have great expectation. The 46km road covered under this Project is the traffic artery from the north to the south of Alofi, connecting the concentrated residential areas and office buildings. I firmly believe, the upgraded road will help to improve the local traffic and road safety, offer convenient travel for the residents and positively boost the local economy and social welfare.
Through co-efforts and intense preparation of both sides, we have everything ready today for the Project’s inauguration. Now you can see on the site supplies already in place, multiple containers of goods were unloaded, some construction machinery and equipment were restored for operation, and another shipment of new ones are yet to arrive next month. Nearly 30 members of the Chinese construction team have arrived, and some others are still on their way. I am told that the Niue side is also stepping up necessary cooperation to facilitate the construction, especially to ensure the supply from the quarry, availability of electricity and water, and timely completion of camp construction. However, Since the work ahead of us is still formidable and demanding, I earnestly hope the two sides continue cooperation in good faith as always to ensure a successful completion of the project on schedule with guaranteed quality and quantity. Upon its completion, I am confident，the Project will serve as a benchmark for development cooperation between the two countries and benefit the local people for a long time.
Finally, I wish today’s event a full success. May the project commence and proceed smoothly. And may the China-Niue relations continue to progress and yield more benefits to our two peoples.