Vanuatu Prime Minister Clarifies Controversial Trip To China

Salwai says he both represented Vanuatu and his political party

By Godwin Ligo

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Oct. 26, 2016) – The Vanuatu Prime Minister, Charlot Salwai, has responded to the Leader of the Opposition MP Ishmael Kalsakau, questioning his recent visit to China in his capacity as the country’s Prime Minister and at the same time as the President of the Reunification of the Moderates for Change (RMC) political party.

In an interview with the Daily Post yesterday, Prime Minister Salwai confirmed that his recent visit to China was in his two capacities, both as the Prime Minister of Vanuatu and as the President of the RMC political party.

He said the invitation he received came from the Chinese Minister of the Department of International China Communist Party (CCP) to the Prime Minister of Vanuatu as well as to the President of the RMC Political party.

The invitation was received just before his election as the RMC President during the Party Congress on Pentecost.

“The meeting I attended which was organized by the China Communist Party gathered together Prime Ministers, State Ministers, former Prime Ministers, Parliamentary Speakers, 70 Political Party Representatives from 50 different countries around the world including, Europe, Asia, Africa, Caribbean, the Pacific and other nations around the world. I was the only one from the Pacific region. And all the leaders attended in either two capacities as Prime Ministers and Ministers and political party leaders or representing different political parties in their countries,” said PM Salwai.

“The theme for the China Communist Party (CCP) World Dialogue for this year 2016 was ‘Global Economic Governance Innovation’.

“Last year, the theme was ‘Corruption’ and it is an annual Global Dialogue with leaders from around the world that China Communist Party has initiated since 2014.

“It brings the Leaders from around the world together to dialogue on different theme in the modern international changes and challenges,” said the Prime Minister.

[PIR editor's note: On Oct. 25, 2016 Vanuatu Post reported that 'Prime Minister Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas has confirmed to the Daily Post yesterday that 14 Members of Parliament (MPs) representing different political parties in Parliament are departing Vanuatu today for China. ... The 14 MPs are paying the visit to China on an invitation by the China Communist Party (CCP) and will attend different meetings and workshops in China.']

The Vanuatu Prime Minister said, not only Vanuatu, but countries from around the world have come to realize that China is shifting its position in different spheres of development in a very rapid and impressive approaches that Vanuatu too must take a closer look at and to learn from.

“The lesson to learn is that China has the largest population in the world yet how it maintains her stability, solidarity and unity, is something that the rest of the world including Vanuatu must be reckoned with.

“We must take a closer look at their system, organization and policies that holds this nation with world’s largest population together as it moves forward in a positive and rapid changes in every spheres of developments,” says Prime Minister Salwai.

“They can plan and organize innovation in such a way that moves China ahead of many nations around the world.

“So, I attended the global dialogue with other world leaders in my capacity as Prime Minister of Vanuatu and at the same time as the President of the President of the RMC political party; attending meetings and looking at different development approaches in China as a nation on the move in Global Governance Innovation.

“I also wish to state that China Communist Party is interested in not only engaging world leaders in this global dialogue, but also the national, provincial, municipal authorities as well as directly involving the people down to the grassroots level and different political parties in the years ahead,” said the Prime Minister.

“Since the UMP signed the Relationship on Party to Party level with the China Communist Party back in 2004 which the then President of the UMP Serge Vohor and myself attended and signed the Party to Party Relationship agreement, other Vanuatu political parties did the same including; the Vanuaa’ku Party (VP), the National United Party (NUP), the Green Confederation Political Party (Green Party) and others.

“So I don’t see why the Leader of the Opposition came out publicly in the local media and pointed a finger at me attending the Global Governance Innovation in my both capacities,” Salwai said.

Vanuatu Daily Post
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