Solomon Islands first Ambassador designate to the Peoples Republic of China (PRC), His Excellency John Moffat Fugui has vowed to meet expectations placed on him by the Government in his new role in Beijing.
He was commissioned on Thursday 13 May by the Governor General Sir David Vunagi to formalise his appointment to head the Beijing Mission.
Ambassador Fugui said being the inaugural Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, is a massive honour since this is the first time Solomon Islands has established diplomatic ties with PRC.
He described China as a super-power and vouched to do his utmost best when in charge of the Beijing Mission.
“The nature of my diplomatic tasks is multi-varied. The advice and consultations tendered can be political, economic, socio-cultural, and during this Covid-period – they can be medical in nature and even spiritual,” he said during his commissioning ceremony”.
“Our Office in Beijing will be the bridge between PRC and Solomon Islands. It will be the refuge for Solomon Island citizens in China. I am committed to ensure this is the case. It will be carried out with the greatest of care,” he added.
Ambassador Fugui’s allegiance is to the government of the day, which means he is directly and closely answerable to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade.
Fugui added that he is aware that the operation and administration of overseas missions are substantial and even greater during this Covid-era.
“I suggest we alter the way we leverage our diplomatic tie. This period requires we change from ‘business as usual’ to ‘business as required.’ Our style, our commitment, our conversations should be in harmony with what PRC requires,” he said.
Fugui also praised PRC for the opportunities it has created for the country only after a short time since September 2019 in view of the country’s challenges.
“We should “cut-above-the-belt.” If we do this – and do it well we can mitigate the usual substantial costs of such an office and address the unexpected expenses that emanate from Covid-19,” he added.
Mr Fugui began his journey in government in the 1989 as a senior policy analyst in the Mamaloni government. After a brief study leave, he returned and worked as a Political Advisor in the Kemakeza government. He also had a short stint as Secretary to the Leader of the Opposition – the late Fred Fono. In the Sikua government, he was the Secretary for the Government Caucus under the Leadership of late Enele Kwanairara. He entered politics as a member of parliament for Central Honiara Constituency in 2010 until recently.
Ambassador is expected to leave for Beijing at a convenient time in view of the current covid-19 travel restrictions.