Xi visits Fiji for closer ties with Pacific island countries
Updated: 2014-11-21 19:51
NADI, Fiji - Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived here Friday for a state visit to Fiji, the last leg of his ongoing three-nation South Pacific tour.
Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan were greeted by Fijian Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama and his wife at the airport in Nadi.
Xi said that Fiji is the first Pacific island country to establish diplomatic relations with China and the two countries have witnessed ever-deepening political mutual trust and fruitful practical cooperation over the past 39 years.
"I'm looking forward to discussing cooperation in various fields with Fijian leaders so as to chart a blueprint for our future bilateral relations," he said.
The president will also meet leaders of eight Pacific island countries that have diplomatic ties with China in Fiji to discuss the ways to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation and promote common development.
"I believe my visit will lift the friendly relations between China and Fiji and the relations between China and Pacific island countries to a new height," he said.
In a signed article published earlier Friday on Fiji Times and Fiji Sun before his visit, Xi said China considers itself a lasting true friend of the Pacific island countries and will work together with them to shape an even better future for their relations.
"As a true friend of Pacific island countries, China stands ready to work on the basis of mutual respect and equality to deepen our win-win co-operation and provide more help to support their accelerated development so as to achieve common development and prosperity," he said.
The president reaffirmed China's commitment to firmly support the people of island countries in pursuing development paths suitable to their own national conditions, upholding sovereignty and development rights and interests, and participating in international and regional affairs on an equal footing with other countries.
"We shall be good partners of win-win cooperation and common development," he said, adding that China will continue to provide support and assistance to island countries.
Xi had concluded his state visits to Australia and New Zealand before coming to Fiji.