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China eyes closer relations with island states

By Xiang Wenjian ( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2017-09-22

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China eyes closer relations with island states

Representatives from 12 island states inlcuding Sri Lanka, the Maldives and  Somoa partcipate in the meeting. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

China aspires to strengthen partnerships with island states across the world to safeguard our blue planet, said Wang Hong, director of China's State Oceanic Administration, on Thursday.

Wang made the comments at the China–Small Island States Ocean-related Ministerial Round Table, held in the island city of Pingtan in South China's Fujian province.

"Islands boast beautiful scenery, but are also very fragile," Wang said. "Currently China and many island states are facing similar challenges posed by global climate change."

He proposed the building of high-level channels for dialogue and closer partnerships between China and island states.

"On the basis of equality and mutual trust, China is willing to undertake the responsibility for global marine governance and push for greater progress in the marine economy along with island states across the world," said Wang.

Representatives from 12 island states including Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Samoa participated in the meeting, and all expressed strong desire to explore potential of further cooperation with China in the fields of environmental protection, island governance, disaster prevention and relief, and the application of new marine technology.

They also stated that they looked forward to getting involved in the Belt and Road Initiative and strengthening cooperation and coordination with related organizations to safeguard the sustainable development of the marine economy globally.

The discussions led to the signing of the Pingtan Declaration.

Pingtan, an island city in the Taiwan Strait, is the largest island in Fujian and the fifth largest island in China.

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