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China stands ready to further promote ties with Pacific island countries

Updated: Oct 31,2018 9:08 PM     Xinhua

PORT MORESBY — China stands ready to work with Papua New Guinea (PNG) to inject impetus into the overall development of relations between China and the Pacific island countries, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Oct 31.

Wang made the remarks at a joint press conference with PNG Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato after their talks.

Calling PNG a good friend and partner of China in the South Pacific region, Wang said since the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and PNG, the two countries have always supported and helped each other, and forged profound friendship and strong mutual trust.

In 2014, the leaders of the two countries announced the establishment of a strategic partnership between their two countries, Wang said, adding that since then, bilateral cooperation has witnessed a series of important developments.

Wang said China-PNG relations have now become an exemplary model for the ties between China and the Pacific island countries as well as the South-South cooperation.

He said that as both China and PNG are developing countries, China is willing to enhance strategic coordination with PNG and jointly support multilateralism and free trade at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and other international arenas so as to safeguard the common interests of developing countries and other countries as well.

Noting that in two weeks, PNG will host the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, which is a great event for PNG and the Pacific islands region, Wang said China has provided assistance to PNG within its capacity and believes that the meeting will be a success.

Wang said that his visit to PNG is aimed at preparing for President Xi Jinping’s attendance at the APEC meeting and his South Pacific trip so as to elevate the bilateral ties to a new high.

With regard to his meetings with PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and Foreign Minister Pato, Wang said the two countries have agreed to maintain the momentum of high-level exchanges, share experience of state governance and elevate the bilateral relations.

He also said that the two sides have agreed to firmly support each other’s core interests.

China and PNG have also agreed to actively promote mutually beneficial cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative, Wang said, adding that trade and investment, energy, infrastructure, agriculture and fishery, people-to-people and local exchanges will become the priority of bilateral cooperation.

Pato spoke highly of China’s achievements, saying that China has set an example for PNG and other developing countries, and its development has benefited other countries in the world, including PNG.

The firm friendship between PNG and China is immune to external disruptions, he stressed.