Premier Li Keqiang held talks with Keith Rowley, prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago, who is on an official visit to China, at the Great Hall of the People on May 14.
Premier Li said that Trinidad and Tobago is one of the first Caribbean countries that established diplomatic ties with China. An all-around cooperative partnership between both countries, under the principles of mutual respect, equality, reciprocal cooperation, and common development, was established during President Xi Jinping’s visit to Trinidad and Tobago.
The Chinese government, the Premier said, attaches great importance to its relations with Trinidad and Tobago and is willing to cement mutual political trust, deepen pragmatic cooperation and strengthen coordination in international and regional matters in a bid to let the ties scale new heights.
Trinidad and Tobago is China’s biggest trade partner in the English-speaking Caribbean region, and there is enormous potential in its cooperation, with both economies highly complementing each other, Premier Li said.
China is willing to align the Belt and Road Initiative with Trinidad and Tobago’s development strategy, pushing forward cooperation in various fields, highlighting infrastructure construction, energy, finance, agriculture, and more.
China will encourage domestic enterprises to carry on supporting Trinidad and Tobago in accordance with market rules and commercial principles, further expand exchanges in education, culture, sports and tourism, among others, and facilitate people-to-people exchanges by simplifying visa applications, with the year 2019, the 45th anniversary of China-Trinidad and Tobago ties, around the corner.
The ties between China and Latin American and Caribbean countries, all being developing countries, are integral to the South-South cooperation, which is not only in line with collective interests, but also conducive to regional and global stability and prosperity. China eyes further constructive roles with Trinidad and Tobago in promoting China-Latin America and China-Caribbean relations, the Premier said.
Rowley said Trinidad and Tobago has enjoyed a traditional friendship with China. Since the establishment of the diplomatic relationship, bilateral relations between the two countries have maintained good development momentum with broad prospects, he added.
As one of the first Caribbean countries to establish diplomatic ties with China, Trinidad and Tobago firmly supports the one-China principle, and is willing to further the political foundation of bilateral ties and strengthen pragmatic cooperation to achieve common development, Rowley said.
He thanked China for offering strong support to his country over the years.
Trinidad and Tobago boasts geographical advantages and rich resources, and is promoting economic diversification and developing tourism. These have brought opportunities and possibilities for expanding bilateral trade and investment, and promoted people-to-people exchanges, Rowley said.
He said his country is ready to further strengthen cooperation with China in healthcare, finance and other fields, under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.
Before the meeting, Premier Li held a welcome ceremony for Rowley at the Great Hall of the People.
After the meeting, the two leaders witnessed the signing of bilateral cooperation agreements in economy, technical cooperation, healthcare, human resources and other fields.