China, Solomon Islands eye enhanced cooperation in multiple areas
China and the Solomon Islands on Wednesday signed bilateral agreements to step up cooperation in multiple areas after the two forged diplomatic ties less than a month ago.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang meets with Solomon Islands' Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Oct. 9, 2019. [Photo: gov.cn]
The signing came as Chinese Premier Li Keqiang held talks with the Solomon Islands' Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare at the Great Hall of the People in downtown Beijing.
Both Li and Sogavare witnessed the signing of a series of deals in areas including foreign affairs, economic technology and education.
Li said the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and the Solomon Islands opens a new chapter of bilateral ties.
It not only accords with the fundamental interests of both countries and peoples, but also greatly promotes common development as well as the stability and prosperity for countries in the region, Li said.
China and the Solomon Islands forged diplomatic ties on Sept. 21. The Pacific island country became the 179th country to forge diplomatic ties with China.
Expressing China's appreciation to the country's commitment to the one-China policy, Li said China hopes to enhance strategic communication, political mutual trust and bilateral exchanges between all walks of life with the Solomon Islands.
China is the largest trade partner and export market of the Solomon Islands, said Li, adding that the two countries share broad prospects of cooperation in areas such as fishery, forestry and mining industry.
China is willing to synergize the Belt and Road Initiative with the development strategies of the Solomon Islands, negotiate measures and arrangements to promote trade facilitation and expand cooperation on finance, agriculture and education, Li said.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Solomon Islands' Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare witness the signing of bilateral cooperation agreements after their talks at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Oct. 9, 2019. [Photo: gov.cn]
The premier said China welcomes the Solomon Islands to expand its high-quality products' exports to China and encourages more capable Chinese enterprises to participate in the country's infrastructural construction under the principle of market economy.
China stands ready to enhance local exchanges with the Solomon Islands, agrees to list the country as a destination for Chinese tour groups, supports it in hosting 2023 Pacific Games and welcomes its participation in the third China-Pacific Island Countries Economic Development and Cooperation Forum, said Li.
China looks forward to intensifying South-South cooperation and sharing experience with the Solomon Islands in order to usher in a bright prospect of bilateral ties, he said.
Sogavare extended his congratulations on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.
China's economic achievements "in modernizing the country over the period to become the second largest economy of the world is remarkable," he said, adding that the Solomon Islands "is pleased to be on the right side of history" to abide by the one-China policy.
As both countries are located in the Asia-Pacific region and are developing countries, the Solomon Islands is willing to take an active part in the Belt and Road construction and promote cooperation in areas including trade, investment, fishery and agriculture, infrastructural construction, education and people-to-people exchanges, said Sogavare.
Prior to the talks, Li held a welcoming ceremony for Sogavare.
Sogavare is paying an official visit to China from Tuesday to Sunday at the invitation of Li. He is scheduled to attend the closing ceremony of the Beijing International Horticultural Exhibition on Wednesday.