Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Speaker Figir meets officials of China's Oceania Affairs

Beijing, China (FSM Embassy, Beijing/FSM Information Service): February 4, 2011 - Speaker Isaac V. Figir of the Sixteenth Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia has met with Director General Xie Fen of the North America and Oceania Affairs in China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

On January 31 2011, the Honorable Xie Feng, Director General of the North America and Oceania Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China, along with key officials of the Ministry met with and hosted Speaker Figir and his delegation to a reception at the St. Regis Hotel in Beijing.

On behalf of the People and Government of the Federated States of Micronesia, through Director General Xie, Speaker Figir extended warm greetings and best wishes to the leadership and people of the People's Republic of China. Noting the importance of the FSM-China relationship, Speaker Figir expressed his appreciation to the Director General for all of the assistance and cooperation between the two countries.

Speaker Figir expressed his appreciation for the two passenger cargo vessels along with the many infrastructure projects and technical assistance that China has extended and provided to the FSM over the past years.

Having met with FSM students in Beijing recently on Saturday evening, the Speaker also took the opportunity to thank the Chinese Government and registered his deep satisfaction towards the Chinese scholarship program extended to FSM students.

Speaker Figir noted the FSM-China Model relationship and reiterated to Director General his unwavering commitment and support of the "One China Policy." Having served as the former Chairman of the Committee of External Affairs of the FSM Congress in the past, Speaker Figir indicated that the relationship has reached a very mature stage and proposed that the two countries should look into other areas of cooperation that would deepen this relationship. Fisheries is among the areas of cooperation suggested by Speaker Figir.

In response to Speaker Figir's comments, Director General Xie extended his appreciation towards Speaker Figir's visit through China and informed him that China attaches great importance to its relationship with the Pacific Island Countries including the Federated States of Micronesia.

Director General Xie acknowledged the long lasting relationship between FSM-China and indicated that there is great potential for the two countries to explore economic cooperation in the area of fisheries development. Director General Xie expressed to Speaker Figir China's willingness to do its part to assist in facilitating economic development in the FSM. He further mentioned the possibility of having periodic consultations between the two countries to plan and better coordinate the Chinese development assistance to the FSM.

Continued high level exchanges between the two countries are indicative of the importance that both sides attach to this bilateral relationship. In 2010, President Mori, Vice President Alik, and Vice Speaker Primo respectively lead delegations to visit China and its provinces during the Shanghai World Expo.

The Director General appreciates such visits and welcomes and encourages the continued people to people exchanges between FSM and China. Director General Xie informed Speaker Figir that while he has not personally visited the Pacific, he has nevertheless seen a glimpse of the Pacific cultures through performances and promotions done in Beijing by Pacific Island students studying in China and he is looking forward to a visit to the Pacific islands.

In honor of the upcoming Lunar New Year, also referred to as the Spring Festival, the Director General concluded the formal part of the meeting by reiterating his appreciation of the timely meeting and wished for further development of the bilateral relationship between FSM and China during the new year, the Year of the Rabbit. Rabbits are described to be energetic and fast, which Director General hopes to be reflective of both countries' growth and relationship.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356