Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, capital of China, June 21, 2018. (Xinhua/Li Xueren)
BEIJING, June 21 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday met with Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea Peter O'Neill in Beijing, pledging to work with the country to push the bilateral relations to a new level.
Xi said Papua New Guinea is a country with significant influence in the Pacific island region.
Since the two countries established diplomatic ties 42 years ago, the bilateral relations have achieved historic development, he said.
"In particular, since I reached consensus with Mr. Prime Minister on the establishment of a strategic partnership between our two countries in 2014, the development of bilateral relations has entered a fast track, and political mutual trust and mutually beneficial cooperation have both reached a new level in history," he said.
China appreciates Papua New Guinea's resolute adherence to the one-China policy, and is willing to work with Papua New Guinea to strengthen communication, deepen cooperation, expand exchanges and push bilateral relations to a new level, he said.
Xi called on the two sides to enhance political mutual trust, uphold the principle of mutual respect and treating each other as equals, support each other and take care of each other on issues concerning sovereignty, territorial integrity and national dignity, so as to constantly cement the political foundation of bilateral relations.
He said both sides should expand mutually beneficial cooperation, make the "cake of cooperation" bigger and bigger, and explore new areas for cooperation.
Papua New Guinea officially joined the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank not long ago and has become the first country in the Pacific island region to sign a memorandum of understanding on Belt and Road construction with China.
Xi said the two sides should take this as a new starting point to actively expand practical cooperation within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, thus providing strong impetus for sustained and stable development of bilateral relations.
Xi also called on both sides to deepen friendship between the two peoples and expand non-governmental exchanges and local cooperation in order to increase people's sense of participation and gain in developing bilateral relations.
"China stands ready to strengthen coordination and cooperation with Papua New Guinea within the multilateral mechanism, supports Papua New Guinea in hosting the 2018 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting, and hopes to jointly build an open Asia-Pacific economy," he said.
O'Neill said Papua New Guinea is committed to deepening its strategic partnership with China and firmly adheres to the one-China policy.
Papua New Guinea highly values and actively supports the great Belt and Road Initiative proposed by President Xi, and is looking forward to expanding cooperation with China in such areas as economic and trade, investment, agriculture, tourism and infrastructure, he said.
Papua New Guinea is grateful for China's strong support for its preparations for the 2018 APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting and appreciates China's leading role in tackling climate change, he said.
Papua New Guinea is willing to increase communication and coordination with China in multilateral and regional affairs, he added.