Milestone CPC Congress to propel China to 2nd centenary goal following amazing achievements: Kiribati president
Published: Oct 17, 2022 10:34 AM Updated: Oct 17, 2022 10:13 AM
China and Kiribati Photo: VCG

China and Kiribati Photo: VCG

The milestone 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) will produce outcomes that further propel China toward its second centenary goal, Kiribati President and Foreign Minister Taneti Maamau told the Global Times in a recent interview.

Maamau said he sent his "warmest congratulations and best wishes to Chinese President Xi Jinping and the CPC."

"Amazement" is the right word to describe China's development achievements in the last 10 years, noted Maamau. "The enduring strength and vitality of the Chinese people have resulted in China's great accomplishments as a nation. I have every confidence that the chapter ahead will add color and excitement to the great story for your people and country," said Maamau.

"My first trip to China [in 2020] was an eye-opener to see the high standard of living that people in China are now enjoying. This is a great achievement and a feat that I don't think any other country can match. This again shows that China's focus on development is not to make the rich richer but to uplift those who have continued to face hardships. That is a very people-centric development vision," Maamau told the Global Times.

Maamau said that when he read the book Xi Jinping: The Governance of China, he was interested in Xi's stance against corruption written under the chapter on Party self-reform for social transformation.

Kiribati President and Foreign Minister Taneti Maamau Photo: Courtesy of Maamau

Kiribati President and Foreign Minister Taneti Maamau Photo: Courtesy of Maamau

Maamau was impressed by how Xi stressed the importance of people's support in governance. "My government also prioritizes anti-corruption at the top of our agenda," and has begun to establish legislative frameworks to "effectively stamp out corruption in Kiribati," Maamau noted.

Maamau spoke highly of the China-proposed concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind.

"Peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy, and freedom are the values shared by all mankind. I am therefore in agreement with the foresight of President Xi in proposing and promoting this concept. Because if we put these values foremost in our work and our engagement in multilateral settings, we will achieve a much more peaceful global community," said Maamau.

Maamau made a successful state visit to China in January 2020 and had talks with Xi. Xi said that Maamau and his country stand on the right side of history by resuming diplomatic ties with China, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

China and Kiribati resumed diplomatic relations in September 2019, opening a new chapter for bilateral ties.

Since the resumption of diplomatic ties, China and Kiribati have conducted numerous exchanges in different areas and at different levels, all with fruitful results.

Partnership and cooperation between the two countries have grown immensely since the resumption of diplomatic relations three years ago, said Maamau. "What strikes me the most about China's assistance is that it is very responsive to our development needs."

Kiribati has put forward its first long-term development blueprint, the Kiribati 20-year Vision (KV20), which focuses on building wealth, peace, and security, infrastructure for development, and governance. "I am pleased to say that China's assistance has been very responsive to the priorities under the KV20, particularly the priority to build basic infrastructures and uplift the livelihoods of the people of Kiribati," he said.

Kiribati is also very much appreciative of China's South-South cooperation, said the Kiribati President.

Maamau also mentioned that the people of Kiribati were fortunate and grateful to have received vaccines and equipment to boost their response to COVID-19.

China has sent multiple shipments of anti-epidemic supplies to South Pacific Island countries including Kiribati to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Without such assistance from close partners, Kiribati would not have been able to face the challenge alone. In addition to COVID-19 materials, we are also fortunate to have medical experts from China who are now assisting in our health sector and their contributions have been felt very strongly, especially in specialized health interventions that we do not have experts in," he said.