PORT MORESBY, June 3 (Xinhua) — The sound relations between China and Papua New Guinea (PNG) will boost regional peace and development, visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said here Friday.
Wang, who held talks here with Soroi Eoe, minister of foreign affairs and international trade of PNG, said such relations will not only bring enormous benefits to the two countries and peoples, but also conduce to upgrading China’s overall ties with Pacific island countries that have diplomatic relations with it, so as to safeguard unity among developing countries and advance regional peace and development.
PNG is China’s key strategic cooperation partner in the South Pacific region, and China is willing to work with the PNG side to extend their cooperation to more areas, enhance strategic planning, boost strategic mutual trust, and build China-PNG relations into a “locomotive” that helps advance China’s ties with Pacific island countries, Wang said.
Wang noted that China appreciates PGN for firmly upholding the one-China principle and supporting China’s legitimate proposals, and China also gives steadfast support for PNG in safeguarding its national sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and seeking a path of self-development for national prosperity.
He pointed out that PNG is China’s biggest trade partner, investment destination and market of contracted projects in the South Pacific region, and the results of bilateral cooperation can be seen everywhere in the country, which has produced tangible benefits for the PNG people.
China stands ready to further upgrade the bilateral cooperation to achieve a scale effect that will generate more dividends, and share with PNG its own development experience and technology, so as to create more landmark cooperation projects, said Wang.
Eoe said the visit by the Chinese delegation not only helps boost cooperation between China and Pacific island countries, but also supports the Pacific island nations’ efforts in accelerating their development and safeguarding their common interests.
Eoe said Papua New Guinea will continue to adhere to the one-China principle, which is the foundation of bilateral relations, and unswervingly support China’s just position on its internal affairs including Taiwan, Hong Kong and Xinjiang issues. PNG is willing to enhance pragmatic cooperation with China in various fields, Eoe said.
During the meeting, the two sides agreed to enhance synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and the Connect PNG infrastructure development strategy, complete a feasibility study on a free trade agreement between the two countries at an early date, and expand cooperation in areas including energy, fisheries, communication and healthcare.
The two countries also planned to explore cooperation potential in law enforcement and at local level, and strengthen cooperation in agriculture, forestry and fisheries processing industries, so as to help Papua New Guinea accelerate the industrialization process and improve its capability of self-development.
Following the meeting, Eoe and Wang attended a signing ceremony of cooperation documents on anti-pandemic, disaster prevention and mitigation, and green development, among others.
They also attended an inauguration ceremony of a new surgical center at Port Moresby built with China’s assistance, and jointly met the press.