Sat, 25 Jun 2022

HONIARA, May 26 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met here on Thursday with Solomon Islands Foreign Minister Jeremiah Manele to exchange views on further improving bilateral ties and expanding pragmatic cooperation in various fields.

Wang said his visit aims to strengthen coordination, increase mutual trust, reach consensus, deepen friendship and expand cooperation between China and the Pacific island countries, adding that China-Solomon Islands relationship has shown great resilience and vitality in past years.

China will always firmly support the Solomon Islands' efforts to safeguard national sovereignty, safety and territorial integrity, protect national unity and solidarity, and speed up national development and rejuvenation, said Wang, offering all help to the Solomon Islands within China's capability.

China is willing to work with the Solomon Islands to implement the important consensus reached between the leadership of the two countries, and elevate bilateral relationship to a higher level to make it a model of political mutual trust and mutually beneficial cooperation between China and island nations, Wang said.

For his part, Manele said equal treatment and mutual respect are the foundation of Solomon Islands-China relations. The Solomon Islands will always firmly adhere to the one-China principle and support China in safeguarding sovereignty and territorial integrity.

China has become a close friend and key development partner of the Solomon Islands, and all bilateral agreements have been effectively implemented, Manele said, adding that China's support has played an important role in the Solomon Islands' efforts to develop economy, improve people's livelihood and fight the COVID-19 pandemic, and has brought a great amount of employment to the country.

He said the Solomon Islands wishes a great success for the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), and looks forward to learning from China's governance experiences.

As China's development is the growth of peaceful forces and developing countries, it will make the world a more peaceful place and the international relationship a fairer one, which fully serves the common interests of developing countries, Wang said.

The two sides agreed to join hands to forge flagship mega-projects of the Road and Belt Initiative (BRI) and make good use of the preferential policies for tariff-free exports to China and help the Solomon Islands fully tap its resource advantages and development potentials.

They pledged to expand pragmatic cooperation in the areas including agro-fishery, timber, minerals, health and fight against the pandemic, disaster mitigation and relief, to deepen experience exchanges on product processing, industrial incubation and special economic zones, and to help the Solomon Islands promote its capacity of self-development and accelerate industrialization and modernization.

The two sides vowed to enhance coordination and cooperation in the fields of development issues, dealing with climate change and multilateral affairs. The Solomon Islands foreign minister said his country supports China's Global Development Initiative and stands ready to strengthen alignment and foster greater synergy with China.

They spoke highly of the fruitful results of the cooperation between China and the Pacific island countries, and promised to work together for the successful holding of the second China-Pacific Island Countries Foreign Ministers' meeting to be held in Fiji.

Wang is visiting the Solomon Islands as part of his tour to the South Pacific island nations, which will also take him to Kiribati, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea, as well as Timor-Leste.

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