Vanuatu govt denied Australian media report on Chinese development projects

BYYasir Rehman

Photo by The Australian

The Government of Vanuatu while honouring its special relations with China Thursday rejected the assertion by an Australian media group that that corruption and resentment, due to unemployment by ni-Vanuatu, are fuelled by China-funded infrastructural development projects.

“Whilst the media feel at liberty to publish anything for anything, the government want to inform the general public that the recent publication on Vanuatu-China relation is basically orchestrated by media outlets to tarnish enduring strategic partnership relation between the two countries,” Office of the Prime Minister reacted in a statement over an article published by ”The Australian”.

“The Vanuatu Government is honoring its relationship with China and respecting mutual process of communicating official matters relating to development priorities and concerns”, Vanuatu’s Daily Post carried the statement.

The statement said that any development news that is happening outside official communicating channel does not represent the official position of government. In fact the Government has a very positive working relationship with the contractor in question.

“This is a relationship which continues to be governed by national legislations, guidelines and processes, and includes a policy of targeted skills and technology transfer to local employees and projects”, the statement further added.

Vanuatu Government also reaffirmed its unwavering stance by principles that guide Sino-Vanuatu relations, and cooperation within the remit of the One Belt, One Road Initiative.

While reiterating ‘One China Policy’, the statement said that that in addition to a joint desire to enhance political relations, cooperation in infrastructural development that contribute to Vanuatu’s socio-economic development and increased business and people-to-people links remain integral components of Sino-Vanuatu relations.

Expressing keen desire to renewed and enhanced cooperation with the Government of the People’s Republic of China under the proposed Comprehensive Partnership, the statement emphasised that the already amicable relationship will be greatly boosted by efforts to establish an air services agreement to improve air connectivity between the two countries, and the signing of a visa waiver agreement to ease travel restrictions, for official purposes.