China mourns passing on of Solomon Islands Ambassador Fugui who ‘had great visions to connect two countries’
Published: Dec 26, 2022 11:23 PM Updated: Dec 26, 2022 11:13 PM
John Moffat Fugui, the Solomon Islands Ambassador to China Photo: Lu Ningyuan

John Moffat Fugui, the Solomon Islands Ambassador to China Photo: Lu Ningyuan

China mourns the death of Ambassador John Moffat Fugui of the Solomon Islands due to illness, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Monday, adding that Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi had sent a message of condolence to the FM of Solomon Islands and expressed sincere sympathy to the ambassador's family.

The Solomon Islands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade issued a statement on December 22, announcing the passing of the country's first Ambassador to China, John Moffat Fugui.

Fugui, 61, passed away in Beijing after suffering cardiac arrest. Solomon Island's officials are currently liaising with China's Foreign Ministry on arrangements to return the late Ambassador John Moffat Fugui home, read the statement.

As the first Solomon Islands ambassador to China, Fugui had made positive contributions to the development of bilateral relations and the promotion of friendship between the two countries, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said on Monday.

The Chinese side regrets the sudden death of the ambassador and is actively assisting the Solomon Islands in dealing with the aftermath, the spokesperson added.

On September 21, 2019, China and Solomon Islands established diplomatic relations. As the first ambassador of Solomon Islands to China, Fugui has led a delegation to visit Beijing, Guangzhou and other cities. "Establishing diplomatic relations with China is the right historical decision for our country," said Fugui during an interview with the People's Daily Haiwainet.

China has provided an economic and social development boost to Solomon Islands, granting zero-tariff treatment on 98 percent of taxable items originating in Solomon Islands and helping the island country in water conservation, sanitation, housing, coconut processing plants and other small-scale quality of life projects.

The two countries also signed a framework agreement on bilateral security cooperation, which will help Solomon Islands maintain social order and stability.

Fugui had praised China for the opportunities it has created for the island nation only after a short time since September 2019 in view of the country's challenges.

In a tribute to the ambassador by the Solomon Islands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Fugui was described as a diplomat with a great vision to connect Solomon Islands with China, the biggest country in the world.

Global Times