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    China's Offer

    China's Offer

    China has offered to donate six boats to the Government of Vanuatu, one to each Province of Vanuatu. China has stepped in following concerns raised at the Development Partners Meeting held last week in Port Vila, about the challenges of connectivity posed by the country’s scattered islands geography.

    Some islands of Vanuatu scarcely have access to shipping services per year and some islands do not have airports.  These boats will be based in the Provinces to serve the people’s need. Ministers and government officials can also use these boats when visiting the provinces. The boats are 15 metres long and 4.3 metres wide, with a speed of 35 knots.

    The boats are yet to be built. China will hold discussions with the marine authorities and the Department of local Authorities to ensure that the engines are robust and that the boats are durable and are suited to the Vanuatu seas. Vanuatu has learnt its lesson with two ships previously donated by China: the Southern Star and Northern Star, which were designed to sail on the river in China.

    These ships deteriorated very quickly after sailing the Vanuatu seas.  The relevant departments will prepare a COM paper on how the boats will be managed upon their arrival in the country.