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Bilateral Relations
2004/07/10

On 25 July 1997, the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Cook Islands signed the joint communique on the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, according to which the two sides agreed to establish diplomatic relations at ambassadorial level effective from the day of signing. Since then, China-Cook Islands relations have been developing smoothly.

Prior to the establishment of the diplomatic relations between the two countries, at the invitation of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications of China, Hon. Vaine Tairea, the Cook Islands Minister for Agriculture, Public Service and Telecommunication visited Shanghai in May 1997 after attending the Senior Symposium on Asia-Pacific Development Strategy in Shanghai.

From 25 to 28 August 1997, Mr. Yang Wensheng, Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation of China visited the Cook Islands. During the visit, the two sides signed and exchanged letters on providing assistance by China to the Cook Islands.

On 4 August 1997, Mr. Li Peng, Premier of China sent a message of congratulation to Hon. Geoffrey Henry, Prime Minister of the Cook Islands on the occasion of the 32nd anniversary of the Constitution Day of the Cook Islands.

From 19 to 22 September 1997, Mr. Yang Jiechi, Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China attended the Post Forum Dialogue of the 28th South Pacific Forum on behalf of the Chinese Government. After the Dialogue, he paid a visit to the Cook Islands and met respectively with the Queen's Representative Sir Apenera Short, Prime Minister Hon. Geoffrey Henry, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Hon. Inatio Akaruru, Minister for Agriculture, Public Service and Telecommunication Hon. Vaine Tairea and the Opposition Leader Mr. Norman George.

On 1 December 1997, China Red Cross Society donated US$ 20,000 worth of hurricane relief to the Cook Islands.

On 20 March 1998, the Cook Islands Prime Minister, Hon. Geoffrey Henry sent a letter to Premier Zhu Rongji, congratulating him on his election as Premier of the State Council of China. The Cook Islands Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration Mr. Inatio Akaruru sent letters respectively to Minister of Foreign Affairs Tang Jiaxuan and Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation Shi Guangsheng on their assumption of new offices.

From 1 to 6 August 1998, a 9-member Chinese acrobatic troupe visited the Cook Islands at the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Cook Islands and participated in the celebration activities of the Cook Islands Constitution Day.

On 4 August 1998, President Jiang Zemin sent a message of congratulation to Sir Apenera Short, Queen's Representative of the Cook Islands on the occasion of the 33rd anniversary of the Constitution Day of the Cook Islands.

From 23 to 26 of September 1998, at the invitation of the Ministry of Public Health of China, the Cook Islands Minister for Health, Hon. Tupou Faireka visited China after attending the West Pacific Conference of the World Health Organization held in China.

From 16 to 22 of November 1998, the Cook Islands Prime Minister and Mrs. Geoffrey Henry paid an official visit to China at the invitation of Premier Zhu Rongji. During his visit, the two sides signed Trade Agreement between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Cook Islands.

On 4 August 1999, President Jiang Zemin sent a message of congratulation to Sir Apenera Short, Queen's Representative of the Cook Islands on the 34th anniversary of the Constitution Day of the Cook Islands. On August 11, 1999, Premier Zhu Rongji sent a message of congratulation to Hon. Joseph Williams, Prime Minister of the Cook Islands on his election as Prime Minister of the Cook Islands. On August 13, 1999, Hon. Joseph Williams, Prime Minister of the Cook Islands, and Hon. Norman George, Deputy Prime Minister of the Cook Islands, wrote letters of thanks respectively to Premier Zhu Rongji and Vice Premier Li Lanqing.

On 19 August 1999, the new Deputy Prime Minister of the Cook Islands, Hon. Norman George reaffirmed, during his meeting with Mr. Chen Wenzhao, Chinese Ambassador to the Cook Islands, that the Cook Islands Government would stick to one China policy and it was the firm belief of his Government that the Chinese Government had the full capability to resolve the Taiwan question.

On 30 November 1999, Premier Zhu Rongji sent a message of congratulation to Hon. Dr Terepai Maoate, Prime Minister of the Cook Islands on his election as Prime Minister of the Cook Island, and Vice Premier Li Lanqing also sent a message of congratulation to Hon. Norman George on his election as Deputy Prime Minister of the Cook Islands. On December 20, 1999, Hon. Dr Terepai Maoate, Prime Minister of the Cook Islands wrote to Premier Zhu Rongji expressing thanks.

From 10 to 12 April 2000, Chen Yaobang, Minister of Agriculture of China visited to the Cook Islands. He met with Sir Apenera Short, Queen's Representative of the Cook Islands, Hon. Dr Terepai Maoate, Prime Minister of the Cook Islands, Hon Norman Gorge, Deputy Prime Minister, and other members of the cabinet. During the talks, Prime Minister Maoate reiterated that the Cook Islands would adhere to the One China policy.

On 4 August 2000, President Jiang Zemin sent a message of congratulation to Sir Apenera Short, Queen's Representative of the Cook Islands on the 35th anniversary of the Constitution Day of the Cook Islands.

From 9 to 16 of September 2000, at the invitation of Mr. Chen Yaobang, Minister of Agriculture of China, Hon. Dr. Robert Woonton, Foreign Minister and Minister of Agriculture of the Cook Islands visited China. During his visit, Dr Woonton held talks with Mr Qi Jinfa, Vice Minister of Agriculture of China on further strengthening bilateral agricultural exchange and cooperation.

From 2 to 6 August 2000, H.E. Chen Wenzhao, Ambassador of China to the Cook Islands, visited the Cook Islands and attended the celebration of 35th anniversary of Constitution Day of the Cook Islands. During his stay, Mr Chen met with Sir Apenera Short, Queen's Representative of the Cook Islands, Hon. Dr Terepai Maoate, Prime Minister of the Cook Islands, Hon Norman Gorge, Deputy Prime Minister, Hon Robert Woonton, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration and Minister of Agriculture, Mr Pitman, Secretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Hon Geoffery Henry, former Prime Minister and Leader of Opposition. Mr Chen also held a function to celebrate the 3rd anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the Cook Islands.

From 15 to 19 January 2001, Ambassador Chen Wenzhao visited the Cook Islands and held farewell functions during his stay.

On 9 February 2001, President Jiang Zemin sent a congratulatary message to Mr. Frederic Goodwin, Queen's Representative to the Cook Islands, on the occasion of the latter's assumption of office.

From 19 to 22 March 2001, H.E. Chen Mingming, Ambassador of China to the Cook Islands, visited the Cook Islands and presented the Letter of Credentials to Mr. Frederic Goodwin, Queen's Representative to the Cook Islands.

From 11 to 13 June 2001, at the invitation of the Cook Islands Government, Ambassador Chen Mingming visited the Cook Islands and attended the centennial commemoration of the establishment of the constitutional relations between the Cook Islands and New Zealand.

On 4 August 2001, President Jiang Zeming sent a congratulatary message to Mr. Frederic Goodwin, Queen's Representative to the Cook Islands, on the occasion of the 36th anniversary of the Constitution Day of the Cook Islands.

On 20 October 2001, the Ministry of Agriculture of China sent two agricultural experts to the Cook Islands to help the country with vegetable growing.

From 19 to 20 February 2001, Mr He Xiaowei, Deputy Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation of China, visited the Cook Islands. He and Hon Robert Woonton, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration of the Cook Islands, signed an agreement of economic and technological cooperation between China and the Cook Islands.

From 21 to 23 February 2001, Mr Chen Fulin, Deputy Director of Agriculture Department of Guangdong Provincial People's Government, led an agricultural delegation and visited the Cook Islands.

From 12 to 28 October 2001, a dancing art delegation from the Cook Islands visited China and attended the 5th International Folk Art Festival. The delegation was awarded with "International Peace and Friendship Award".

On 22 February 2002, Premier Zhu Rongji and Vice Premier Li Lanqing sent messages of congratulation respectively to Hon. Robert  Woonton and Hon. Geoffrey Henry, Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of the Cook Islands on their elections as Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of the Cook Islands.

On 31 July 2002, President Jiang Zeming sent a congratulatary message to Mr. Frederic Goodwin, Queen's Representative to the Cook Islands, on the occasion of the 37th anniversary of the Constitution Day of the Cook Islands.

On 23 July 2002, Premier Zhu Rongji sent  congratulatary message to Mr. Frederic Goodwin, Queen's Representative to the Cook Islands, to celebrate the 5rd anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the Cook Islands.

On 17 August 2002, Mr Zhou Wenzhong, Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China attended the Post Forum Dialogue of the 33th Pacific Islands Forum held in Fiji on behalf of the Chinese Government and met with Hon. Robert  Woonton, Prime Minister of the Cook Islands.

On 4 August 2003, President Hu Jintao sent a congratulatary message to Mr. Frederic Goodwin, Queen's Representative to the Cook Islands, on the occasion of the 38th anniversary of the Constitution Day of the Cook Islands.

On 18 August 2003, Mr Zhou Wenzhong, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China attended the Post Forum Dialogue of the 34th Pacific Islands Forum held in New Zealand on behalf of the Chinese Government and met with Hon. Robert  Woonton, Prime Minister of the Cook Islands.

From 24 April to 1 May 2004, Hon. Robert  Woonton, Prime Minister of the Cook Islands attended the 60th United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) held in Shanghai and paid an official visit to China. During his visit, he met with President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao.

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the Cook Islands, bilateral economic and trade relations have witnessed a significant development. Bilateral trade volume reached US$218,000 in 1999, US$246,000 in 2000, US$380,000 in 2001. In 2003, bilateral trade volume reached US$575,000, increased by 199.4% compared with the figure last year. China exported US$497,000 goods to the Cook Islands. The Cook Islands export to China in 2003 was US$78,000.

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