China To Work With PNG To Strengthen Comprehensive Strategic Partnership

(MENAFN- IANS) London, April 20 (IANS) China is ready to work with Papua New Guinea (PNG) to build a comprehensive strategic partnership of higher level and better quality, visiting Chinese Foreign Minister
Wang Yi said here on Saturday.

Wang, also a member of the Political
Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remarks when meeting with PNG Foreign Minister
Justin Tkachenko, Xinhua news agency reported.

China always views and values PNG's role from a strategic perspective, Wang said, noting that PNG is the largest and most populous Pacific island country, with the most abundant natural resources in the Pacific island region.

Located in the connecting belt between Oceania and Southeast Asia, PNG has a unique position and huge development advantages, and is fully capable of becoming a more prosperous country with more self-determination and more influence in the region and in the world, Wang said.

China has always developed its ties with PNG from a long-term perspective, Wang said, adding that the current bilateral relations is the result of the joint guidance of generations of leaders and the joint efforts of friendly people in the two countries. Both countries should inherit it, take good care of it and carry it forward.

China is ready to work with PNG to further implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries and build a comprehensive strategic partnership of higher level and better quality, Wang said.

China will continue to treat PNG as an equal, and firmly support the country in safeguarding its sovereignty, independence and national unity, accelerating national revitalization and improving people's livelihood, and playing a bigger role in regional and multilateral affairs, Wang said.

PNG is an important partner in the joint construction of the Belt and Road, Wang said, noting that the Pacific country has participated in two Belt and Road forums for international cooperation consecutively and made positive contributions.

The two countries have drawn up Belt and Road cooperation plans and established a working mechanism. Both sides need to implement them one by one and advance them in a timely manner, so as to ensure that the results of the cooperation will be tangible as soon as possible and bring benefits to the PNG people, Wang said.

China is ready to maintain high-level exchanges with PNG and launch free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations as soon as possible, the Chinese foreign minister said.

China is ready to strengthen its cooperation with PNG in such areas as trade and investment, infrastructure, agriculture, forestry and fishery, clean energy and climate change solutions, Wang said.

China is also ready to create new highlights in its cooperation with PNG in such areas as information and communication technology, disaster prevention and reduction, and police affairs, pushing bilateral relations to higher levels, Wang said.

As a developing country, China's exchanges and cooperation with South Pacific island countries are aimed at supporting and helping each other and achieving common development, without any selfish geopolitical interests, the Chinese foreign minister said.

The South Pacific region should not become an arena of big power rivalry, and no country should treat the island countries as its "backyard," or engage in zero-sum competition and exclusive arrangements, Wang said.

Instead, more should be done for the island countries and more benefits should be brought to their people, Wang said.

For his part, Tkachenko said China is a close friend of his country.

The leaders of the two countries have maintained close communication and established a high degree of mutual trust. Bilateral cooperation in various fields is progressing smoothly and bringing tangible benefits to people in both countries, Tkachenko said.

The PNG government
has long been firm in upholding and will continue to firmly adhere to the one-China policy, Tkachenko said, adding that the government
understands and supports China's efforts to achieve national reunification.

PNG is committed to promoting the development of bilateral relations to achieve greater results, the Pacific island country's foreign minister said.

PNG looks forward to strengthening cooperation in the fields of economy and trade, telecommunications, energy, agriculture, education, police affairs, and disaster prevention and mitigation, and further facilitating people-to-people exchanges, Tkachenko said.

He also sincerely thanked China for its selfless assistance to PNG in coping with the recent floods.

PNG believes that China's cooperation with South Pacific island countries has promoted regional development, thinks highly of China's important role and fair stance in international and regional affairs, and is willing to strengthen communication and coordination with China, Tkachenko said.

The two sides also exchanged views on international and regional issues of common concern.

After the talks, the two foreign ministers jointly attended the signing ceremony of various cooperation documents.



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