Pacific Century – a delicate balance


Speech at the Opening Ceremony of the China International Tourism Expo, Shenzhen, December 4, 2015

For many people around the world the South Pacific represents paradise.


Those of us who grew up in the South Pacific believe it is, indeed, as close to paradise as can be found on Earth.

The South Pacific is a vast ocean, dotted by islands with pristine beaches, lush forests, abundant seafood, tropical fruits and more.  Each nation of the South Pacific has a rich cultural heritage, dating back thousands of years.  It is a very special place, both in our imagination and in reality.


It evokes such a special place in our imagination, even if we have not yet visited, because the Pacific is also a place of delicate balance.

While the South Pacific has survived colonialism, war and even nuclear weapons testing by outside powers, it faces a new and very real threat.


The global warming associated with climate change is resulting in rising sea levels.  For some of the small Pacific Island Countries, this is an existential threat.  Some nations are made up of low-lying coral atolls only one or two meters above sea level.  The rising sea levels are already endangering fresh water supplies and threaten to inundate inhabited islands before the end of this century.


Leaders from around the world are currently debating this critical issue in Paris at the 21st Conference of Parties to the UN Conference on Climate Change.


We welcome the support of the international community, including China, to help preserve the unique environment of the South Pacific.


We hope the leaders meeting in Paris will show wisdom and courage in tackling climate change for our global future.

We also need to manage another delicate balance in the South Pacific.


All of the Pacific Island Countries seek further development.  Some are amongst the least developed nations in the world and need aid and economic development to help provide a better life for their people and opportunities for future generations.


But this development must take place hand in hand with preservation of the pristine and beautiful environment of the South Pacific.  It must also help to strengthen and not weaken the unique and diverse cultures of the Pacific nations.

The environment and the cultures of the South Pacific are the very precious resources that these countries have.


These are what will draw tourists from all over the world to the South Pacific in the future.


So tourism can and must help us to manage this delicate balance.


There is a great opportunity here for us to get this right.


As we build the transport links, the resorts and the other tourism infrastructure in the South Pacific, we must ensure environmentally sustainable development and involve the local communities to ensure each new tourism development strengthens the resilience and the cultural vitality of the population.


China can be a leader.


President Xi Jinping has outlined a compelling vision to help develop finance, trade, investment and tourism connections along the One Belt, One Road, the New Silk Road to Europe and the 21st  Century Maritime Silk Road.

The Pacific Islands are a natural extension of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, with growing trade, investment and tourism links to China.


The region is rich in natural resources, from minerals and energy to the world’s great fishery resource of the Pacific.

The Pacific Islands are, however, separated from major markets by distance and have underdeveloped infrastructure, including ports and air-links and other infrastructure for tourism and broader industry development.


The Chinese Government is supporting infrastructure development in the Pacific with a US$2 billion package of development aid, loans and education and training assistance.  A number of Chinese firms are active in construction and other industries.  Others are looking for commercial investment opportunities.


We welcome Chinese investment to help us build the sustainable tourism industry of the future, to help us preserve the beauty and the delicately balanced environment and to strengthen the cultures for generations to come in the South Pacific.


This industry is, at the end of the day, about people, our dreams, our passions, our memories.  The South Pacific can be all of that and it can also be a great friend to the people of China if we can, together, manage the delicate balance and find a way to preserve the Pacific paradise for future generations.




对于很多人来说,南太平洋是天堂。


 对于土生土长胡南太平洋扔而言,这里确实是地球上能找到胡最接近天堂的地方。


 南太平洋是由无数拥有原始沙滩,茂密森林,丰富海产,热带水果的小岛屿点缀着。南太平洋的每一个国家都拥有丰富的可以追溯上千年的文化遗产。这是一个无论在想象还是现实中都是一个非常特别的地方。


   尽管我们不曾踏足这片土地,这里总能引起我们对这片热土无限想象,因为这里的平衡是如此的脆弱。


 南太平洋历经了殖民侵略,战争甚至核武器的威胁这些外界势力的干预后,现在他正面临新的也是真正的威胁。


  那就是全球变暖与环境变化带来的海水水位上升。对于一些太平洋上的效果,这个已经是现存的问题了。有些国家是建立在低位环状珊瑚岛上,距离海平面仅仅1到2米。海水水位上升已经严重影响纯净水供应并有可能再本世纪末以前淹没有人居的海岛。


所以我们欢迎国际社会给予的援助,包括中国,来帮助我们保护南太平洋独特的自然资源。


 我们同样还需要维护另外一种脆弱的平衡


 所有南太平洋国家需要进一步的开发。有一些甚至是世界上最不发达的地区,需要援助进行经济发展为人民和下一代提供更好的生活和更多的未来发展机会。


 但是这些经济建设必须要以能保护好南太平洋的原始而美丽的森林为前提。而且能够加强而不是减弱南太平洋独特和多元化的文化。


 南太平洋的环境和文化是这些岛国所拥有的非常珍贵的资源。


这些也是能够吸引全世界游客的魅力所在。所以旅游业能够也一定要帮助我们能够处理好这些脆弱的平衡。我们有很好的机遇能够把事情做得漂亮。


 当我们在建设交通枢纽,旅游景点和其他旅游设施的时候,我们就必须保证是可持续性的建设并能让每一个旅游新项目能增加当地的生机与人口文化的活力。


 中国在这一方面可以成为领军者。


 习主席提出了一带一路战略。南太平洋岛国,有着与中国在贸易,投资和旅游上不断增长的联系而成为这个21世纪丝绸之路的自然延伸。


 南太平洋有着丰富的自然资源,从矿物质,能源再到太平洋巨大的水产资源。


 然后,太平洋的岛屿却与世隔绝,没有现代化的建筑包括港口,航班以及其他旅游配套。


 中国政府以及拨出20亿一揽子包含了发展援助,贷款,教育和培训支援的计划来助力太平洋地区的建设。还有很多中国的企业也在工程建设和其他行业中添砖加瓦。还有另外一批也在寻找商业投资机会。


 我们热忱地欢迎中国资本帮助我们建立一个可持续性发展的旅游业从而可以帮助我们保护好这个美丽但却脆弱的环境,增强下一代的文化素养。


      旅游业,归根而言是一个能够助力于我们民族,实现我们的梦想,展示我们的激情和回忆的行业。 南太平洋能够展现所有这一切,他也能成为中国人民最好的朋友。只要我们能够一同携手维护好脆弱的平衡并能够为太平洋的子孙后代保存这一片天堂净土。

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