PORT MORESBY — China and Papua New Guinea (PNG) vowed on Oct 31 to further develop the relations between the two countries and strengthen cooperation under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.
When meeting with State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said PNG is a key and close friend of China among the Pacific island nations.
Bilateral relations have reached the all-time high since the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries, he said, reiterating PNG’s adherence to the one-China policy.
China was among the first countries which supported PNG in hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ meeting this year and rendered PNG assistance in this regard, according to the prime minister.
Expressing firm support to the Belt and Road Initiative, O’Neill hoped that cooperation under the China-proposed initiative could promoted PNG’s economy as well as common development of the Pacific island nations.
The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Initiative, proposed in 2013, aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes of the Silk Road.
For his part, Wang said the upcoming APEC meeting in Port Moresby is a major event for the Pacific island nations, and China wished the meeting a success and will continue to offer help to PNG.
Noting that PNG was the first among the Pacific island nations to sign cooperation agreements with China under the Belt and Road Initiative, he said China welcomes the attendance of Prime Minister O’Neill at the 2nd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation to be held next year in China.
China is willing to expand cooperation with PNG in trade, investment, industrial capacity and education under the Belt and Road Initiative so as to help the country achieve sustainable development and common development of the Pacific island nations, he added.
Wang stressed that China has abided by the principle of noninterference in domestic affairs of other countries and no-attachment of political strings regarding foreign aid.
In a separate meeting with PNG Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato, Wang underscored the important position of PNG in China’s neighborhood diplomacy, saying China is willing to become a lasting and trustworthy friend and partner of PNG.
Wang said China would like to strengthen cooperation with the Pacific island country on joint construction of the Road and Belt, investment, agriculture and industrial modernization so as to help transfer PNG’s resources potentials for the country’s development.
Minister Pato is also welcome to attend the upcoming China International Import Expo scheduled for next month in Shanghai and China expects more distinctive PNG imports, he added.
Pato expressed the willingness of his country to learn from China’s experiences on poverty alleviation and development.
PNG also hopes to strengthen pragmatic cooperation with China on trade and investment, energy and resources as well as infrastructure, he said.