SOLOMON Islands has been elected to the Board of the Pacific-China Friendship Association (PCFA) at the organisation’s first Annual General Meeting (AGM) in China.
The Vice President of the Solomon Islands-China Friendship Association (SICFA), Alfred Sasako represented SICFA at the one-day meeting, held at China’s southernmost island province of Hainan on Thursday 27th November.
Other Members of the five-member Board are Australia, Fiji, Tonga and Vanuatu. Member countries will serve a four-year term.
The meeting also reaffirmed Her Royal Highness Princess Pilolevu Tuita of Tonga as the permanent Patron of the Pacific-China Friendship Association.
Dr Hiria Ottino of Tahiti was re-elected unopposed as President of PCFA while Anthony Leong of Australia is the Secretary General of the two-year-old organisation.
PCFA was established in Nuku’alofa, Kingdom of Tonga on 26th October 2016. Its role is to promote friendship and understanding between all members and the People’s Republic of China (PRC)
At the Tonga inaugural meeting, Princess Royal, Her Royal Highness, Princess SALOTE MAFILE’O PILOLEVU TUITA and Madame LI Xiaolin, President of Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding for friendly cooperation as part of the establishment of the Pacific-China Friendship Association (PCFA).
Alfred said after this week’s meeting in Sanya, Hainan Province, he was pleased with the outcome of the vote.
“Solomon Islands was not expecting miracle, but SICFA took the view that it should put in all that needs to be done and leave the rest to higher forces to decide. We did just that and we are pleased that our efforts have paid off,” Alfred said.
He said it was not an easy task, given the fact that Solomon Islands does not have diplomatic relations with China.
“The fact that all 13 members of PCFA voted us in speaks volume of the need to work together as a family rather than one country doing its own. Solomon Islands must seize the opportunity to move forward in order to enjoy the benefits from China’s economic growth, which has attracted both the developed and developing countries to its vast arrays of economic and technological advances in order to keep up with the rest of the world,” Alfred said.
“It’s a do or die situation for us in Solomon Islands. We do it and survive the rigors of economic competition or we don’t and suffer the consequences of being beggars as we have been for the last 40 years, surviving merely on the non-productive investment on iron roofing and solar economy, which has not taken us anywhere,” he said.