February 7, 2011

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press

Pohnpei, FSM-On Tuesday, February 1, the Embassy of the People's Republic of China to the FSM hosted a celebration of the Chinese Spring Festival, the Chinese Lunar New Year. This year is the Year of the Rabbit. Amongst the invited guests invited to join Chinese nationals for the dinner celebration which was held at the Cliff Rainbow Hotel and Restaurant were high ranking offi cials from the FSM Government and the Pohnpei State Government.

Ambassador Zhang Weidong addressed the guests saying "The Chinese Spring Festival culture is a culture of harmony. People always desire peace and happiness, enjoy reunion and friendship to create a warm social atmosphere and harmony in general of a big family…A maxim tells, 'Father and sons in harmony make a family invincible; brothers and siblings in harmony keep a family inseparable; neighbors and communities in harmony enjoy no disputes and lawsuits; husband and wife in harmony gain their family true prospect.'"

He said that the principal of harmony is at the root of the Chinese foreign policy which is to develop friendly relations with all countries based on the principles of peaceful coexistence and work together to build a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity.

He spoke of the efforts made jointly between the FSM and China in the year 2010 which he said was a "great leap in the cordial relationship between China and the FSM. We have achieved a lot in terms of political trust, economical cooperation, and cultural and educational exchanges."

"We've learned from history that distrust, hatred and confrontation will only bring disasters to the human race." Drawing on similarities between the FSM the Ambassador, inspired by the Constitution of the FSM said, "In the past, China was invaded and ruled by foreign power, so we cherish freedom; China was intervened and divided by outer forces, so we cherish unity; China was forced to fi ght wars, so we love peace; China was backward and bullied, so we pursue development. The Chinese government and people have adopted the 'Peaceful Development Road,' and achieved greatly."

He also used the occasion to announce that Mr. Bai Xia, the first secretary in charge of the Trade and Commercial Offi ce of the Chinese Embassy who has served in Pohnpei for five years is leaving the FSM. He also introduced his replacement Madame Ouyang Xiaohong. Madame Ouyang most recently served her government in the Chinese Embassy in San Francisco.

Mr. Bai gave a heartwarming farewell speech saying that he truly loves this country and will miss it deeply. Madame Ouyang gave a brief introductory speech as well.

FSM Secretary for Foreign Affairs Lorin Robert thanked the Ambassador for his kind words.

As dinner was concluding the guests were entertained by Chinese singing and a Chinese Flute solo. Local dancers also performed.