FIJI President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau highlighted the contribution of the Chinese Association of Fiji in the development of the country during the Chinese New Year celebration in Suva yesterday.
Ratu Epeli said the Chinese Association of Fiji president Jenny Seeto had been instrumental in co-ordinating the planning of the New Year event and her leadership of the hard working committee of some very prominent men — gender equality at its best.
"I remember that many years ago, the Chinese New Year's celebrations were very much on people's calendar," Ratu Epeli said.
"The China Club on Charlton Avenue and Queen Elizabeth Drive used to organise such wonderful dinner and dances and it was the focal point for many family and community functions, where all races were as one in their celebration.
"I trust that in future, such events will be revived.
"In this connection, I am pleased to see the restoration of the China Club which is an undertaking that has been led by Dixon Seeto and his committee," he said.
Ratu Epeli said the Fiji China Friendship Association was formed last year and was headed by Dr Jiko Luveni, the Minister of Women, Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation and that the association together with other Chinese provincial groups had been active in hosting Chinese groups visiting Fiji.
"Apart from that, the association itself has also visited China on cultural exchanges," he said.
"These cultural exchanges and the developments of sister city programs are an ideal way of strengthening our ties and of gaining a better understanding of our people and of our different cultures," he added.