Premier Li Keqiang met with Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, on July 6.
O’Neill expressed his condolences over the flooding in South China, and offered his wishes that the Chinese government and people can defeat the disaster at an early date.
Premier Li thanked O’Neill, saying that China is making great efforts to combat the flood to safeguard people’s lives.
Since establishing diplomatic ties 40 years ago, the relationship between China and Papua New Guinea has grown, as the two sides built a strategic partnership with mutual respect and development, the Premier said.
China respects and supports Papua New Guinea to independently choose the path of development, and is willing to work with Papua New Guinea to continue to consolidate mutual trust, reinforce exchanges at all levels and in various areas, and expand pragmatic cooperation, to inject new impetus to the development of bilateral ties, the Premier added.
He stressed that the two countries’ economies are highly complementary, showing big potential for cooperation and mutual benefits. China is willing to share its development strategy with Papua New Guinea, to enhance capacity cooperation, expand cooperation in agriculture, forestry and fishery, energy and resources, communication, and infrastructure, as well as increase bilateral trade and strengthen exchanges on technology and talent training, the Premier said. He also hopes the two countries can sign a bilateral free trade agreement.
Premier Li stressed that China is willing to strengthen coordination with Papua New Guinea in multilateral mechanisms, including the United Nations, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), ASEAN Regional Forum and Pacific islands Forum, as well as the framework of South-South cooperation, to safeguard the common interests of developing countries.
O’Neill said since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Papua New Guinea, bilateral relations and cooperation in various fields have shown great momentum for growth. He said that China is an important partner of Papua New Guinea, and China plays an important role in affairs in the Asia Pacific region.
“Papua New Guinea is willing to strengthen cooperation with China in fields including energy, tourism, aviation, finance and education, as well as cooperation within the multilateral framework such as APEC, and would become China’s important gateway to cooperate with Asia Pacific countries,” said O’Neill.
Before the meeting, Premier Li held a welcoming ceremony for O’Neill at the square outside the east gate of the Great Hall of the People. Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Luo Fuhe also attended the ceremony.
After the meeting, the two premiers witnessed the signing of documents for bilateral cooperation in industrial capacity, economy and trade, aviation, and technology.