By: Trevor Loudon
From the Communist Party of China website:
President Xi Jinping said Wednesday that China is ready to strengthen communication and cooperation with Fiji and other Pacific Island nations.
Xi made the remarks while meeting with visiting Fijian Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama in the Great Hall of the People.
Xi said China believes that all countries are equal members of the international community and should respect and treat each other as equals.
Xi said China treasures its friendship with Fiji, respects the development path chosen by its people and will continue to provide assistance to Fiji within its capacity.
Xi said China appreciates Fiji’s support regarding issues related to China’s core interests.
Xi said both sides should deepen cooperation in agriculture, forestry, fishery, transportation, telecommunications, mining, infrastructure development and tourism.
He said both sides should promote cultural exchanges and contacts, especially among young people.
He said he hopes both sides can step up coordination on multilateral and Pacific Island issues.
Xi said China supports Fiji’s requests regarding energy security, climate change and the protection of maritime resources, adding that China is ready to further advance its relations with Fiji.
Xi said Pacific Island nations are an important part of the Asia-Pacific region, adding that the region cannot achieve development and prosperity as a whole without the development of Pacific Island nations.
Xi said China supports Pacific Island nations in playing an equal part in international affairs, enhancing development and realizing sustainable growth.
Bainimarama said China has provided invaluable support for Fiji and brought benefits for its residents, adding that he hopes to learn from China’s success and step up cooperation with China.
Bainimarama is the first Pacific Island nation leader to visit China since China’s new leadership came into power.
Fiji, only 1500 miles to the north of my country New Zealand, is now effectively, a Chinese client state.