The Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Hon. Jeremiah Manele said the Solomon Islands owes a lot to the late Solomon Islands Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, John Moffat Fugui.
He made this statement when presenting a eulogy on the life of late Fugui during the late Ambassador’s funeral program in Honiara today.
Minister Manele described late Fugui as a well-read national, a deep thinker and someone with the heart for youths. With a philosophy to advance one’s educational level, the late Ambassador had great concern for Solomon Islands students and worked hard to build the number of Solomon Islands Chinese scholarship recipients.
He said the Late Ambassador saw the potential of Solomon Islands relations with the People’s Republic China who now, within a period of three years is Solomon Islands largest infrastructure partner.
The Minister said before the appointment of Late Fugui as Ambassador he was firm in navigating geopolitical discussions and was unmoved in his stance in recommending the review of Solomon Islands Foreign Policy on the question of China.
The late Fugui was Head of the Bipartisan Task Force to establish relations with the People’s Republic of China, thereby, the choice of the government for John Moffat Fugui to be the first Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China was not a difficult one.
“He had travelled widely and understood the importance of correcting a 36 year wrong by formalizing relations with the People’s Republic of China,” the Minister explained.
Mr Manele said his legacy in placing education high on the agenda and pushing for a knowledge-based society is a challenge needing continuity.
Mr Fugui was an accomplished academic. He attained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in New Zealand and three Masters of Arts in New Zealand and USA.
He gained his Master’s Degree in Canterbury, New Zealand (1988), Master’s Degree in Pacific Studies at the University of Hawaii (1994) and a second Master’s Degree in Politics from the University of Hawaii (1998).
He also had a rich public service background having held a number of political positions both within the Government and opposition.
He once served as a political advisor to the Solomon Islands Prime Minister (2001-2006), Secretary of Caucus (2008-2010), and Secretary to the Leader of Opposition (2006-2007) and was a Member of Parliament from 2010-2020.
Late Ambassador Fugui also served as Minister for Environment, Public Service and Education and Human Resources respectively before his appointment as Ambassador of Solomon Islands to the People’s Republic of China. He was also the Deputy Speaker of Parliament from 2014 – 2015.
—-MFAET PRESS RELEASE