BEIJING, Nov 15, 2018, China Daily. China is ready to deepen strategic trust and expand pragmatic cooperation with Pacific island countries for an even brighter future for their relations, President Xi Jinping said in a signed article published by local newspapers in Papua New Guinea on Wednesday, reported the China Daily.
Xi will kick off his state visits to Papua New Guinea, Brunei and the Philippines on Thursday. During his seven-day trip, he will also attend the 26th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Port Moresby, capital of Papua New Guinea, and meet there with leaders of the Pacific island countries that have established diplomatic ties with China.
Xi hailed relations between China and Papua New Guinea in the article titled “Set Sail on a New Voyage for Relations between China and Pacific Island Countries”. He said the relationship has stood the test of a changing international situation and stayed as strong as ever.
“The rapid growth of China-Papua New Guinea relations is an epitome of China’s overall relations with Pacific island countries,” he said in the article.
Xi recalled his meeting with leaders of the eight Pacific island countries that have diplomatic ties with China four years ago in Fiji, saying the meeting heralded a new dynamic stage in the relations between China and the countries, featuring mutual respect and common development.
In developing their relations, China and the Pacific island countries take each other as true friends and good partners, he said, adding that closer business ties and deeper economic and technological cooperation have made the pie of common interests between China and the countries even larger.
Xi expressed hopes to renew friendship, explore new ways of development and chart the course for future growth of the relations between China and the Pacific island countries through meeting with the leaders of the countries during his visit to Papua New Guinea.
He highlighted the importance of people-to-people exchanges, saying this will help deepen mutual understanding and friendship between peoples of China and Pacific island countries and carry forward the friendship from generation to generation.
The relations between China and the Pacific island countries are now better than ever and face important development opportunities, he said. “China will work with Pacific island countries to brave the wind and waves and set sail for a brighter future in their relations.”
The Papua New Guinea trip will be Xi’s first visit to the country and also the first state visit by a Chinese president.
Peter O’Neill, prime minister of Papua New Guinea, said in a recent interview with China Central Television that he looked forward to Xi’s state visit to his country and building stronger ties with China.
Under Xi’s leadership, China plays an active role in coping with common challenges the world is facing such as climate change, and resolutely upholds free trade, O’Neill said. He added that his country stands firmly with China.