by Zhang Yongxing
SUVA, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- "I am looking forward to the start of my new life in China and as a student I will study hard to learn the Chinese language and acquire professional knowledge, and I am willing to play the role of goodwill ambassador between Fijians and the Chinese people in the future," a Fijian student who won the 2019 Chinese government scholarship told Xinhua Wednesday.
Joshua Tudei Naivalurua, 23, won the 2019 Chinese government scholarship to study for a master's degree in International Political Affairs at China's Zhejiang University.
"I encourage us all to make the maximum use of this opportunity of a lifetime, to learn as much as we can and also to explore, get to know, and understand China as a nation determined and committed towards its dream of becoming a fully developed and advanced nation," Naivalurua said on behalf of the 23 Fijian scholarship recipients.
"My fellow recipients, let us work hard and enjoy the experience and bring back home a return on this investment," he said at a scholarship award ceremony held at the Chinese embassy in the Fijian capital Suva on Wednesday.
He told Xinhua that this opportunity means a great deal to him as an individual, as a student and as a citizen of Fiji.
"I believe that this opening presents an array of opportunities of learning, growing and expanding our global perspectives and understanding of life," he said.
"I am looking forward to learning the Mandarin language, getting to know the different kinds of delicacies in each province of China, as well as learning about what makes each province distinct," Naivalurua added.
His mother, Kesaia Naivalurua, wife of former Fijian ambassador to China and now the permanent secretary of Fiji's Foreign Ministry, supports her son's decision to study in China in the coming years wholeheartedly.
Naivalurua, who spent two and a half years in China, said that she is proud of her sons, as her eldest son just graduated from a Chinese university last year after studying for seven years and Joshua would follow suit this year.
"I hope Joshua can grab this opportunity to study hard, expand his vision, realize his goal, and will do something for Fiji and China in the future," she said.
"I love China and the Chinese people. China is a huge country with great potential. I am impressed by China as the far eastern country has been developing very fast over the years. The whole nation is on the move and everything develops very fast. The Chinese people work very hard for a better life," she said with a smile.
Wendy Fang, a Fijian-Chinese community leader and her 18-year-old daughter, one of the scholarship winners to study in China, told Xinhua that China has made great achievements over the past decades and as an overseas Chinese, she is proud of her daughter who can use this opportunity to study in China and get to know China better as the world's second largest economy.
For his part, Timoci Bure, a representative of Fiji's Ministry of Education, said that the ministry acknowledges the assistance of the Chinese government in empowering and equipping these Fijian students to become agents of change, peace and progress for the island nation.
Chinese Ambassador to Fiji Qian Bo said that China is a country with endless charm and that the two countries are not only good friends through thick and thin, but also good win-win cooperative partners.
He also hoped that the Fijian students will cherish and make full use of the opportunity to study in China and come back to Fiji to not only make contributions to the socioeconomic development of Fiji, but also play the roles of ambassadors between the two peoples in further building the bridge of friendship and understanding between the two countries.