The Parliament delegation, led by the Deputy Speaker and Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Lenora Qereqeretabua recently returned from the Guangdong Province in China, upon the invitation of the Government of the People’s Republic of China.
The delegation consisted of the Members of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence who met with some Members of the National People’s Congress representatives and some Members of the Standing Committee of the Shenzhen Municipal People’s Congress.
On Wednesday, the delegation took a two hours ride through the 55km Hong-Kong-Zhuhai-Macao bridge before they met with Mr Yan Wu, the Deputy Director of the Standing Committee of the Zhuhai Municipal People’s Congress.
The Deputy Speaker thanked Mr Wu for the hospitality accorded to the delegation and highlighted that the Fiji-Guangdong relationship began back in the 1800s.
“The Fiji-Guangdong relationship did not begin in the 1970s like many believed but the early Chinese came to Fiji back in the 1800s from this province of Guangdong.”
“The ride across the Hong-Kong-Zhuhai-Macao bridge was really inspirational to the Fijian delegation, seeing how it came together with all its mechanical and engineering features,” Hon. Qereqeretabua said.
The delegation then visited the Grassroots Legislative Liaison Office of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress before visiting the China-Pacific Island Countries Disaster Reduction Cooperation Centre at Wuyi University.
Hon. Qereqeretabua, during an interview at the Provincial TV Station International Communication Centre, noted how technology plays a big role in any country and the connection between the people on the ground with their municipal and government representatives.
“I was very impressed at how the deputies go down to the street level and listen to the needs of the people and then take it to the municipal level and then right up to the congress level. The contact points made available to all members of the public is very important in any country, no matter what type of system you follow, that you listen to the people that put you in the place you are in.”
Leaders of the Provincial People’s Congress Standing Committee met the delegation at the White Swan Hotel in Guangzhou City, the capital city of Guangdong Province which has a population of about 16million people.
On Friday, the delegation visited a few sites which included the Guangzhou CanSemi Technology Inc, the Development Planning Hall of the Sino-Singapore Knowledge City, the Guangdong Provincial Museum and the Guangzhou Cosmetics Co. Ltd.
In the evening, the delegation was hosted to a beautiful Cantonese meal before the night cruise in Pearl River.
The establishment of the Sister City relations between municipalities in Fiji, the Suva and Lautoka City Councils, and the Guangdong Province has strengthened Fiji-China relations at all levels of society and contributed to the people-to-people relationships.
The delegation returned on Saturday and was met in Hong Kong by the Honorary Consul Mr Desmond Lee before continuing their journey home.