THE Government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is considering additional financial and in-kind support to help Solomon Islands in its fight against the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus, its Ambassador Li Ming revealed on Wednesday.
Ambassador Li – China’s first envoy to the Solomon Islands, was speaking at a handover ceremony of PPEs in Honiara yesterday.
To date, the PRC has provided support in various forms valued at around USD350, 000.
The support was donated largely to the National Referral Hospital (NRH) through the Ministry of Health and Medical Services.
Ambassador Li told the brief ceremony that since two coronavirus cases were detected, China has pledged additional financial support to help the Solomon Islands government in its fight to contain the spread of the virus.
“Since the two cases were confirmed in the Solomon Islands, China has pledged additional funding support as well as medical supplies to Solomon Islands,” the Ambassador said.
While the amount was not specified, an Embassy official said the help would be in the region of USD100, 000 (about SBD800, 000).
“China wants to ensure the Government of Solomon Islands wins the fight against the coronavirus,” the official said.
At yesterday’s ceremony, Ambassador Li handed over 15-thousand facial masks to the Ministry of Health and Medical Services.
Of these some 7-thousand were donated by Guangdong provincial government, with the rest, 8-thousand masks being donated by Jia Shu Rong He trading company, a privately owned Chinese company in Solomon Islands.
“China has always stood firmly with Solomon Islands in the fight against the pandemic early this year. Today’s donation represents the solid friendship between China and Solomon Islands,” Ambassador Li said.
“China, by far has provided 350-thousand US dollars funding support to Solomon Islands. China has helped build the first nucleic acid testing laboratory in the country, provided more than 4,000 test kits and 200,000 PPEs to Solomon Islands, and chartered Solomon Airline plane to transport Chinese company staff to Solomon Islands to help infrastructure development and economic recovery.
“Assistance from China has gone far beyond fund and medical material support.”
A similar handover ceremony followed at The Shore Building, Rove, where the PRC Embassy is located.
The people of Western Province are the beneficiaries of the donation of PPEs, which Premier David Gina received on their behalf.
Ambassador Li promised to “foster the friendship relations with Western province and provinces in China.”
He said the Chinese embassy is now working on the sister-province relationship between the Western province and Fujian province, a prosperous coastal province of China, which should be a showcase for the sub-national cooperation.
Ambassador Li also looks forward to opportunities to visiting Western Province soon.
By Alfred Sasako