Number Of Pacific Islands Students Studying In China Increasing

483 out of 844 receive scholarships; PNG has the most number of students

By Anita Roberts

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, June 28, 2016) – The number of pacific students going abroad to study in China has grown over the past years, said the Department of North American and Oceanian Affairs under the Ministry of China’s Foreign Affairs in Beijing.

This was highlighted by Counsellor Jian Zhao to the Pacific media delegation on a recent visit to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China.

The Department of North American and Oceanian Affairs oversees China’s relation with Pacific Island States including Australia and New Zealand.

A total of 483 out of a total figure of 844 pacific islanders recorded studying in China last year were students on scholarships.

The largest number of the students were from Papua New Guinea (PNG), according to the department.

The Chinese Government, through its scholarship program to sponsor students from different pacific countries at various universities with a variety of programs, aims to promote mutual understanding, cooperation and exchanges with the pacific region.

China established diplomatic relations with Fiji and Samoa in 1975, then Samoa and PNG in 1976 followed by Vanuatu, Cook Islands, Niue and Federate States of Micronesia.

Counsellor Zhao told the media team: “Over the past years we have seen more pacific islanders studying here (in China).

“Some have finished studies, returned home and gained better jobs,” he added.

Not only in education but the department proclaimed that over the past years it has seen its relationship with the pacific prompted development in a comprehensive way; there is an increase in trade and Chinese visitors to the pacific and more exchanges, for example trips made by heads of governments.

China’s foreign policy is to maintain regional stability and promote economic development, said Zhao.

Vanuatu Daily Post
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