PALIKIR, Pohnpei—Federated States of Micronesia Foreign Affairs Secretary Kandhi A. Elieisar received People’s Republic of China Ambassador Huang Zheng last June 28, 2022, for a signing ceremony regarding the formal hand-over of the Hapilmohol-2, a 600-ton cargo and passenger ship that will serve the State of Yap, and take part in nationwide services as necessary.
The contract for the Hapilmohol-2 was signed on Oct. 15, 2020. It is designed to have a cruising range of 2,500 nautical miles and an endurance of 15 days. Included within the contract is an agreement that, starting from the second year after the ship’s delivery, upon the conclusion of its one-year warranty period, China will be responsible for dispatching four technicians to the FSM each year to carry out a 14-day technical inspection on the ship’s maintenance for four consecutive years.
“I am pleased to partake in this formal exercise to finally turnover this beautiful ship,” said Elieisar in his remarks. “In this connection, let me thank the Chinese crew who took pains…to bring the vessel to the shores of Yap State, and waited on the ship in compliance of our quarantine requirements.”
Elieisar thanked the Chinese government “for agreeing to realize this official handover ceremony today between our two governments. I also want to thank Yap State and its leadership through the support of [Secretary Carlson D. Apis of the Department of Transportation, Communication, & Infrastructure] and his staff for also agreeing to proceed with this signing ceremony, so that the State of Yap can endeavor to use the ship pending a required and final turnover from the national government to the state government.”
The Hapilmohol-2 is the third ship donated by China to the FSM, with the previous two ships being the MV Hapilmohol-1 and the MV Chief Mailo, which have historically focused their service in the States of Yap and Chuuk respectively.
“We can all agree that the three graciously donated vessels from China,” Elieisar said, “are important marine transport assets that literally bring our islands and peoples together as a nation and as a people. They help glorify who we are and render honor to our oceanic lifestyle as well as to the great friendship we have with China.”
In his remarks, Huang said “[The Hapilmohol-2] is another testament of the sincerest and most selfless assistance from China to the FSM.”
“What we are witnessing today is just another example of bringing ships to the FSM which will greatly enhance the well-being of the FSM’s people. We know that the donation of the H-2 has been highly appreciated by the FSM government and the FSM’s people,” Huang said. “The bilateral trade volume between China and the FSM increased by more than 30% last year, bringing tangible benefits to the people, fully demonstrating the potential for cooperation between China and the FSM. Despite changes in the international landscape, China will always hold fast to ‘four-pronged adherence’ to developing relations with Pacific island countries, including the FSM, and be a good friend and good partner pursuing common development with the FSM on the basis of mutual respect, equality, and mutual benefit.”
The FSM and China established diplomatic relations on Sept. 11, 1989. (PR)