China & PNG Strengthen Relationship at APEC
I was expecting it to happen and it finally did at the 16th Leaders’ Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum held in Lima, Peru.
The occasion I was anticipating? Chinese President Hu Jintao and PNG Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare holding audience with each other – both leaders met together on Saturday (23’rd).
Given PNG’s strategic geographic location in the middle of the Asia-Pacific and its rich natural resources (mineral, forestry, and fisheries) – China has reaffirmed it’s friendship and is keen to build on to its already substantial bilateral affair with PNG.
In October this year it was revealed that the trade between China and Papua New Guinea for the first half of this year reached US$488 million – a 38 percent increase from last year. PNG has been China’s largest South Pacific trade partner and investment target for the past several years and with the construction of the Ramu Nickel Mine Project – China is indeed serious about the relationship.
There is no doubt that China sees PNG not as a temporary supplier to its unquenchable economical thirst, rather the newest Super Power is planning for the future. The relationship China is meticulously nurturing with PNG is foreseen to not only last for the next couple decades – it is expected to simultaneously gradually expand.
Because PNG is the door for China to the Pacific – and China will do all it can do to keep that door open.