Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has arrived in Beijing on Monday, October 16, 2023, the capital of the People’s Republic of China, for an official visit aimed at strengthening bilateral ties and exploring opportunities for cooperation between the two nations.
Prime Minister Marape, accompanied by Mrs. Rachael Marape and Chinese Ambassador to PNG, H.E Zeng Fanhua, touched down at the Beijing Capital International Airport after a flight from Hong Kong. He received a warm welcome with a red carpet greeting.
China’s Education Minister, H.E Huai Jinpeng, and other Chinese officials extended a formal welcome to Prime Minister Marape. Notably, PNG’s Foreign Affairs Secretary, Elias Wohengu, and Minister for State Affairs Assisting the Prime Minister Hon. Justin Thatchenko, were also present at the airport to receive the distinguished visitor.
The primary purpose of Prime Minister Marape’s visit is his invitation by Chinese President Xi Jinping to attend the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Development and Cooperation, scheduled to take place at the Great Hall of the People on Tuesday and Wednesday.
During his visit, Prime Minister Marape will engage in a series of meetings and events. On Monday, he met with Chinese Premier, H.E Li Qiang, and participated in a Welcome Dinner, Official Talks, and signing ceremonies that aim to enhance economic, trade, education, and other relations between China and PNG.
Today, Prime Minister Marape will address the Beijing Normal University and witness the signing of agreements on educational opportunities for PNG, including research collaborations with PNG institutions of higher learning, such as the University of Goroka.
Additionally, Prime Minister Marape will meet with Chinese President, H.E. Xi Jinping, and participate in a formal bilateral meeting at the Great Hall of the People. Following this, he will lay a wreath at the Monument to People’s Heroes at Tiananmen Square as a symbol of strengthening relations between the two countries.
Prime Minister Marape’s second day in China will conclude with a visit to the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) Headquarters.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Marape will attend the Opening Ceremony of the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, held at the Great Hall of the People. The forum’s theme, ‘Together for Common Development and Prosperity,’ underscores the commitment to collaborative efforts for mutual growth.
Prime Minister Marape will participate in the Belt and Road Forum by delivering a keynote address during the High-Level Forum on Green Silk for Harmony with Nature at the China National Convention Centre.
China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a strategic effort to connect Asia with Africa and Europe, fostering regional integration, trade expansion, and economic development. Papua New Guinea’s participation in these initiatives demonstrates its commitment to further collaboration in infrastructure development and trade with the People’s Republic of China.
China is a significant partner for Papua New Guinea, particularly in road and infrastructure development. Prime Minister Marape is accompanied by a delegation of key ministers, including ministers for Civil Aviation Hon. Walter Schanubelt, Works and Highways Minister Hon. Solan Mirisin, State Affairs Assisting the Prime Minister Hon. Justin Tkatchenko, Education Hon. Jimmy Uguro, and senior government officials, including Works and Highways Secretary, David Wereh.
Prime Minister Marape’s visit to China is scheduled to conclude on Thursday, with expectations of strengthened ties and new opportunities for cooperation between Papua New Guinea and the People’s Republic of China.