CHINA / National

China, Fiji agree to establish cooperative partnership
Updated: 2006-04-05 09:10

China and the island country of Fiji agreed on Tuesday to establish and strengthen "China-Fiji important cooperative partnership."

Visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and his Fiji counterpart Laisenia Qarase held talks in the wake of Wen's arrival in Nadi, the tourist destination of Fiji, and announced the decision in a joint press communique issued afterward.

Other results achieved in the talks include Fiji's recognition of China's full market economy status and the formation of a joint economic and trade committee.

Despite geographical distance keeping the two countries far apart, Premier Wen described the China-Fiji relationship as "a model" between China and the island countries.

Wen is the first Chinese head of government to visit island countries in the Pacific Ocean, while Fiji is the first among the tiny island nations which forged diplomatic ties with China.

"Both in the Asia-Pacific region and in the category of developing countries, there is basis and need for the two to enhance bilateral ties," he told Qarase.

China will continue to develop ties with Fiji and support its efforts to develop national economy, maintain social stability and strive for the interests of island countries in the international arena, he said.

Qarase expressed satisfaction with the growth of bilateral ties and thanked China for the unselfish assistance to Fiji for its socio-economic development.

One important topic in the talks is the Taiwan issue. Wen said that the Taiwan issue is closely related with China's core interest. "The one-China principle is the political foundation of China-Fiji relation and a key to ensuring the further growth of bilateral ties," he said, adding that China appreciates Fiji's adherence to one-China policy and opposition against "Taiwan Independence."

Qarase reiterated that the Fiji government adheres to one-China policy, recognizes the government of the People's Republic of China as the sole legitimate government representing the whole China and Taiwan an inalienable part of China.

Fiji opposes any attempt to create "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan", and "Taiwan independence", he said. Fiji will not have official contact with Taiwan, and the Fiji side will continue to honor all these principles, he added.

After the talks, the two governments signed a number of cooperative documents. Wen and Qarase attended the signing ceremony.

Fiji is the second-leg of Wen's four-nation tour, which also includes New Zealand and Cambodia. He flew to Fiji after concluding his visit to Australia earlier Tuesday.


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