Fiji, China pledge to deepen bilateral ties, practical cooperation

Fijian Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said on Monday his country is ready to deepen bilateral relations with China and expand cooperation in various fields, including infrastructure, agriculture and fisheries, building capacities and sustainable development.

Bainimarama made the remarks during a meeting with visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. He also said that Fiji will continue to firmly support the one-China principle.

Since establishing diplomatic ties 47 years ago, Bainimarama said, Fiji and China have been committed to developing friendly relations and mutually beneficial cooperation based on common aspirations and interests.

The Fijian people always bear in mind that China has always respected Fiji’s sovereignty and stood firmly in solidarity with Fiji, he added.

Bainimarama praised China’s proposed Global Development Initiative, saying he supports the initiative and believes it will serve as a driving force for faster post-pandemic recovery.

He added that at present, the volatile and changing international situation has intensified the interdependence between countries, calling for closer cooperation to better address global challenges.

For his part, Wang said China-Fiji relations have withstood international vicissitudes, with the two countries trusting and supporting each other, and always being the first to help each other.

The more volatile and complex the international situation, the more important it is for China and Fiji to advance their traditional friendship, enhance strategic mutual trust, uphold their common interests, and safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries. as well as regional peace and stability, he noted.

As a reliable friend and partner of Fiji, China firmly supports Fiji in maintaining social stability and ethnic unity, pursuing an independent foreign policy, accelerating development and revitalization of the country, and in increasing their role in regional and international affairs, Wang said.

China expects Fiji to actively participate in the Global Development Initiative, to create greater synergy and accelerate the achievement of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, he said. added.

Wang said trade between China and Fiji grew by more than 30 percent last year despite the difficulties, showing huge potential for bilateral cooperation.

China is willing to further synergize the Belt and Road Initiative with Fiji’s 20-year national development plan, help Fiji accelerate its post-pandemic recovery, continue to strengthen cooperation on people’s livelihood, create more high-quality projects and work for the success of the Juncao Technology Cooperation Project, Wang said.

China is willing to expand the import of Fiji’s competitive and distinctive products, encourage more qualified Chinese enterprises to invest and start business in Fiji, and help Fiji build its capacity for independent development. he added.

Wang said that China has put into operation the emergency supply pool between China and Pacific island countries and will work with them to build platforms for cooperation in the areas of disaster reduction. poverty and development, climate change response, disaster prevention and mitigation, agricultural cooperation and Juncao technology.

Bainimarama praised China’s efforts to follow up on the outcome of the first China-Pacific Islands Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, and thanked China for its strong support to help Pacific island countries to promote sustainable development and build resilience to climate change.

During the meeting, the two sides also exchanged views on the current international and regional situation, agreeing that efforts should be made to jointly uphold and support multilateralism, safeguard the United Nations-centered international system and protect the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries.

After the meeting, Mr. Bainimarama and Mr. Wang attended a document signing ceremony on bilateral cooperation in various fields ranging from climate change, cultivation of Juncao grass, prevention and mitigation of disasters.

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