SUVA, May 30 (Xinhua) -- Fijian Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Voreqe Bainimarama on Monday said his country stands ready to deepen bilateral relations with China and expand cooperation in various fields including infrastructure, agriculture and fisheries, capacity building and sustainable development, strengthening the partnership between the two countries.
Bainimarama made the remarks during a meeting with visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. He also noted that Fiji will continue to firmly support the one-China principle.
Since the establishment of diplomatic ties 47 years ago, Bainimarama said, Fiji and China have been committed to developing friendly relations as well as win-win cooperation based on common aspirations and common interests.
The Fijian people always bear in mind that China has always respected the sovereignty of Fiji and stood firmly with Fiji, he said.
Bainimarama spoke highly of the China-proposed Global Development Initiative, saying he supports the initiative and believes it will serve as a strong driving force for a faster post-pandemic recovery.
He said that currently, the volatile and changing international situation has intensified interdependence among countries, urging closer cooperation to better address global challenges.
For his part, Wang said that China-Fiji relations have stood the test of international vicissitudes, with both countries trusting and supporting each other, and always being the first to help each other.
The more volatile and complex the international situation is, the more important it is for China and Fiji to carry forward their traditional friendship, enhance strategic mutual trust, defend their common interests, and safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries as well as regional peace and stability, he noted.
As Fiji's reliable friend and partner, China firmly supports Fiji in maintaining social stability and ethnic unity, pursuing an independent foreign policy, speeding up national development and revitalization, and playing a more important role in regional and international affairs, Wang said.
China expects to see Fiji's active participation in the China-proposed Global Development Initiative to build greater synergy and accelerate the realization of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, he added.
Wang said that the trade between China and Fiji grew by more than 30 percent last year despite difficulties, demonstrating huge potential for bilateral cooperation.
China is willing to deepen the synergy between joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative and Fiji's 20-year National Development Plan, help Fiji speed up its post-pandemic recovery, continue to strengthen cooperation on improving people's livelihood, create more high-quality projects, and work to make the Juncao technology cooperation project a success, said the Chinese foreign minister.
China stands ready to expand the import of Fiji's competitive and distinctive products, encourage more qualified Chinese enterprises to invest and start business in Fiji, and help Fiji enhance its capacity for independent development, he added.
Wang said that China has put the China-Pacific Island Countries Reserve of Emergency Supplies into operation and will work together with Pacific island countries to build platforms for cooperation in the areas of poverty alleviation and development, climate change response, disaster prevention and mitigation, agricultural cooperation, and Juncao technology.
Bainimarama spoke highly of China's efforts to follow up on the outcomes of the first China-Pacific Island Countries Foreign Ministers' Meeting, and thanked China for its strong support to help Pacific island countries promote sustainable development and strengthen climate change resilience.
During the meeting, the two sides also exchanged views on the current international and regional situation. They agreed that efforts should be made to jointly advocate and uphold multilateralism, safeguard the UN-centered international system and protect the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries.
After the meeting, Bainimarama and Wang attended a signing ceremony of the documents on bilateral cooperation in fields ranging from climate change, Juncao grass cultivation to disaster prevention and mitigation.