Niue and China have shared a history of diplomatic relations since it was first officiated in 2007, and just last Thursday evening, both nations were able to commemorate fifteen years of its friendship.
Held at the Scenic Matavai Resort in Tamakautoga, the reception welcomed the presence of the People’s Republic of China Ambassador to Niue His Excellency Wang Xiaolong and his delegation. Also in attendance was Premier Hon. Dalton Tagelagi, Minister of Finance and Infrastructure Hon. Crossley Tatui, and the Speaker of Assembly Hon. Hima Douglas, all who attended with their lovely spouses.
Some of the MPs and government officials and staff were also present for the celebrations.
The night was welcomed by Ms Luando Tiakia who was the Master of Ceremony for the reception. The opening spiritual scripture verse and prayer was blessed by Rev. Nukanuka Tauevihi.
Speeches followed, firstly by Premier Tagelagi who, once again, delighted the crowd with his expert attempt in speaking most of his speech in Mandarin Chinese. The local Niueans acknowledged the Premier’s foreign tongue with delighted expressions while Ambassador Wang Xiaolong and his delegation smiled and nodded in acknowledgement to his attempt.
“Niue has enjoyed a close friendship with the People’s Republic of China since December in 2007. Niue has firmly adhered, ever since we signed on to the One-China policy and the people of Niue will always value the friendship that we have with the Chinese people. We are forever grateful for our relationship with China and for their support to our development aspirations for Niue. We have current projects on the ground, the roading project, the Niue Broadcasting Sekena Tower Maintenance Project,” says Premier Tagelagi.
Ambassador Xiaolong, in his speech, acknowledged the Premier’s attempt in his native tongue which he found quite impressive compared to the little knowledge he had of the Niue language.
“Over the past fifteen years, China and Niue have helped each other through thick and thin. Back 2005, before the establishment of diplomatic ties, the Chinese government decided to render support to Niue to dealt with the aftermath of the cyclone. And in 2008, one year after the beginning of the official relationship, when China suffered the 7.8 magnitude earthquake, Niue offered help to China for post-disaster reconstruction. Such a kind and generous gesture, touched the hearts of tens of thousands of Chinese people.”
“We are so proud that China became the first country, other than New Zealand, to establish diplomatic relations with Niue.”
“Let us join and build this bridge of friendship and work together to create a brighter common future,” says Ambassador Xiaolong.
As he concluded, Ambassador Xiaolong proposed a toast in commemoration of the fifteen years that Niue and China have shared diplomatic relations. Followed after was a few words of acknowledgement from Minister of Finance and Infrastructure Crossley Tatui where he also proposed a toast.
Rev. Nukanuka Tauevihi closed the formal part of the programme with a prayer and blessed the food.
After happy exchanges of conversation, food devoured and relaxation, the programme continued with two special items. The first performance was heard from renowned local artist, producer and singer Glen Jackson who sang his original soundtrack “Only You” both in Niuean and, with a surprise, in Mandarin Chinese.
The final performance was given by the Hakupu Youth. Traditional song and dance entrapped the audience especially Ambassador Xiaolong and his delegation to the beauty of the Niue culture displayed through their lively performance.
From China, they each gifted a Niue-China pin, gift bags, t-shirts and a cap to those who attended the celebrations.
Ambassador Xiaolong and his delegation departed the island last Friday.