Chinese President Xi Jinping holds a welcome ceremony for Kiribati's President Taneti Mamau before their talks at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 6, 2020. (Xinhua/Ding Haitao)
BEIJING, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Monday that Kiribati's President Taneti Mamau and his country stand on the right side of history by resuming diplomatic ties with China.
Xi made the remarks when holding talks with Mamau at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
China and Kiribati resumed diplomatic relations in September 2019 on the basis of the one-China policy, opening a new chapter for bilateral ties, said Xi.
"Mr. President and the Kiribati government stand on the right side of history," Xi told Mamau, adding that the resumption "fully embodies their strategic vision and political courage."
"China speaks highly of the decision," said Xi.
Since the resumption of diplomatic ties, China and Kiribati have conducted numerous exchanges in different areas and at different levels with fruitful results, he said.
Facts proved that it is in the interests of both peoples to restore diplomatic ties, and the bilateral ties enjoy broad prospects, said Xi.
Calling Mamau's visit to China "an important landmark in China-Kiribati ties," Xi said China stands ready to work with the Pacific island country to promote bilateral ties to a new level.
Xi called on both countries to deepen mutual political understanding, saying that China has always held that all countries, no matter big or small, should be equal and all countries should respect one another's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
China sticks to the path of peaceful development and respects Kiribati's choice of a development path that suits its own national situation, Xi said.
Xi said the two countries should expand pragmatic cooperation by seeking the synergy of the Belt and Road Initiative with Kiribati's development plans.
China will encourage more Chinese enterprises to invest in Kiribati, said Xi, adding that China has approved the listing of Kiribati as a destination for Chinese tour groups.
China is willing to enhance cooperation within multilateral mechanisms including the United Nations and the Pacific Islands Forum, and will continue to provide assistance and support to Kiribati on climate change under the framework of South-South cooperation to safeguard the common interests of developing countries, said Xi.
Mamau said it is based on trust and confidence in China that Kiribati made the important decision to restore diplomatic ties with China.
He reaffirmed that Kiribati will firmly adhere to the one-China policy, respect China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, support China's "one country, two systems" principle and its reunification.
Appreciating China's support, Mamau said he looks forward to enhancing cooperation with China in areas including economy, trade, investment, tourism, fisheries, education, healthcare and infrastructure construction.
Kiribati speaks highly of China's role in safeguarding world peace and promoting common development, and appreciates China's efforts to advance South-South cooperation and help small and medium-sized developing countries such as Kiribati to speed up development and address challenges such as climate change, Mamau said.
Kiribati is willing to work with China to improve bilateral ties to benefit both peoples, Mamau said.
After the talks, Xi and Mamau witnessed the signing of bilateral cooperation documents in Beijing.
Mamau is paying a state visit to China from Jan. 4 to 11.