Great Friendship taken to a New High: President Panuelo’s State Visit to China, Day One

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Press Release

Great Friendship taken to a New High: President Panuelo’s State Visit to China, Day One

BEIJING, China—On December 11th, 2019, His Excellency David W. Panuelo, President of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) arrived in the People’s Republic of China (China) for his State Visit, at the invitation of His Excellency Xi Jinping, President of China, with whom President Panuelo will meet in addition to His Excellency Li Keqiang, Premier of China, among others. The purpose of the visit is to celebrate 30 years of formal diplomatic relations and Great Friendship between the FSM and China, and to discuss matters of mutual interest, including a request for additional Chinese infrastructural assistance.

Accompanying the President and his delegation are the Honorable Esmond B. Moses, Vice Speaker of the 21st FSM Congress, and other Senators in Congress including the Honorable Robson U. Romolow, Chairman of the Justice & Government Operations Committee, and the Honorable Aren B. Palik, Vice Chairman of the Resources & Development Committee. Also joining the President are the Honorable Johnson S. Elimo, Governor of the FSM State of Chuuk, and the Honorable Carson K. Sigrah, Governor of the FSM State of Kosrae.

On December 12th, 2019, the President’s State Visit truly began. While most of the day was dedicated towards reviewing official talking points for his upcoming meetings with President Xi and Premier Li, the President and his delegation were also shown traditional Chinese hospitality in the form of touring several sites. The sites the President visited on December 12th were the Daxing International Airport and the Great Wall of China.

Daxing International Airport, which received approval for construction in 2013 and opened in September 2019, is expected to handle 72 million passengers and two million tons of cargo annually when it reaches its maximum operational capacity in 2025.  The world’s largest airport, Daxing International is also one of its most advanced, offering world-class amenities and services. But of particular interest to the President were the top-of-the-line security and medical technologies, such as facial recognition scanners and temperature and body scanners that will quickly tell the Government if a traveler is sick and/or carrying an infectious disease.

“This airport is so impressive—but what I am particularly impressed with is the medical scanning equipment,” the President said. “With all the talk of this Measles epidemic in the Pacific, this is the sort of technology the whole world could benefit from.”

The President also visited the Badaling section of the Great Wall of China, which inspired him even more. The Great Wall—which has a length of approximately 21,196 kilometers (~13,170 miles)—was originally built over the course of two thousand years, the most extensive of which started during the Ming Dynasty (~1368 AD, which for Pohnpeians would approximate to the Mweihn Saudeleur). The wall’s purpose was to promote peace throughout China, as the country—like the FSM—also believes in peace, friendship, cooperation, and love in our common humanity.

His Excellency Huang Zheng, Ambassador of China to the FSM, remarked that the President climbed the highest of any other FSM Head of State or official. “He’s taken our relationship to a new high!”

President Panuelo agreed, writing “Micronesia/China—Great Friendship, Development Partnership, based on [the] bedrock of One China Policy” in the Great Wall of China’s Visitor’s Guestbook.

China recognized the FSM as a sovereign country on September 11th, 1989 and for the past 30 years China has supported the FSM in numerous tangible and intangible ways, including more than one hundred million dollars of economic development cooperation. Some examples of technical and economic development cooperation in recent and contemporary history include the Chuuk State Government Complex, the Kahmar Bridge Project, the FSM National Convention Center, road paving throughout Pohnpei State, and hosting 59 students from the FSM. The President will be meeting FSM students studying in Hainan Province later during the State Visit.

The most recent assistance is approximately ten million dollars scheduled for the renovation of the Pohnpei State Government Complex, which was discussed in October 2019 and will be formalized through the Exchange of Notes during this State Visit, and two million dollars scheduled for the FSM Trust Fund, which was discussed on the margins of the Joint National Inauguration in July 2019 and will be formalized during this State Visit.

While the FSM National Government is keen to expand the economic and technical cooperative aspects of its Great Friendship with China, the President’s fiscal policies emphasize that the Nation cannot accept loans from any country, organization, or individual, whether such a loan would be from the United States, Japan, China, or any other development partner.

“With the United States, the FSM has an enduring partnership; with Japan, the FSM has a Kizuna or ‘Special Bond’—and with China, the FSM has a Great Friendship. After all, we extend to all nations that which we seek from each: peace, friendship, cooperation, and love in our common humanity,” President Panuelo said.


Palikir, Pohnpei State, FM 96941
Phone: (691) 320-2228
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