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China Sees Fiji True Friend: Xi

China regards Fiji as a sincere friend and important partner in the Pacific islands region, Chinese President Xi Jinping told his Fijian counterpart, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, here last Friday. Mr
23 Nov 2014 11:40
China Sees Fiji True Friend: Xi

China regards Fiji as a sincere friend and important partner in the Pacific islands region, Chinese President Xi Jinping told his Fijian counterpart, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, here last Friday.

Mr Xi is paying a state visit to Fiji, the first in history by a Chinese president.

China, he said, firmly supports the Fijian people in independently choosing a development path that fits the national conditions of Fiji, stands behind Fiji’s efforts in developing its economy and improving people’s lives and backs its reasonable appeals in the international arena.

Noting that the next year marks the 40th anniversary of China-Fiji diplomatic ties, he said China is willing to strengthen exchanges with Fiji at different levels, expand practical cooperation and push for further progress in bilateral ties.

“I hope my visit can open a new chapter in bilateral friendly and cooperative relations,” he said.

For his part, Ratu Epeli thanked Beijing for the support and assistance China has long been offering to his country, and said Mr Xi’s visit will definitely lift bilateral ties to a higher level.

Fiji, he added, is committed to maintaining national stability and development and regards the development of its relations with China as a cornerstone of its “Look North Policy,” which is aimed at enriching the country’s relations with Asia.

Fiji wishes to strengthen cooperation with China, he stressed. Facts have proved that China is a true friend of Fiji, said the prime minister, adding that he is confident that Mr Xi’s visit will vigorously promote bilateral cooperation and boost the development of Pacific island countries.

Mr Xi thanked the Fijian government and people for their hospitality, saying that the distinctive traditional welcoming ceremony “allows us to feel the Fijian people’s profound friendship toward their Chinese counterpart.”

The friendship between China and Fiji has crossed mountains and rivers, and China “looks forward to working with our Fijian friends to usher in a better future for bilateral ties,” he said.

China’s president arrived in Nadi last Friday evening. Fiji is the last stop of his three-nation South Pacific tour, which has taken him to Australia and New Zealand. He returns to China today.  Xinhua

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