Chinese premier eyes closer friendship with Samoa

Premier Li Keqiang and Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, greet participants of the Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2018. Picture: CHINA DAILY

TIANJIN, 20 SEPTEMBER 2018 (XINHUA) – Chinese Premier Li Keqiang held talks on Wednesday with Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, who is in TIANJIN to attend the Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2018, also known as Summer Davos.

Noting that Samoa was one of the first Pacific island countries to establish diplomatic relations with China, Li hailed the development of bilateral ties and said China attaches great importance to developing relations with Samoa.

China appreciates Samoa’s long-term and firm adherence to the one-China policy, said Li, adding that China supports Samoa’s efforts to follow a development path in line with its national conditions and will strengthen cooperation with Samoa.

China will seek synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative with Samoa’s development strategy and create more opportunities for cooperation in such areas as economy, trade, investment and infrastructure construction, said Li.

The Chinese premier called on the two countries to give full play to their respective advantages, strengthen cooperation in ports and tourism, and take more practical measures to promote people-to-people exchanges to deepen the bilateral friendship.

China values reasonable demands of Pacific island countries in dealing with climate change and is willing to continue to promote the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change, said Li, adding that China will also strengthen coordination and cooperation with Samoa within such multilateral mechanisms as the United Nations and the Pacific Islands Forum, so as to safeguard the common interests of developing countries.

Tuilaepa said that Samoa enjoys the close friendship with China, expressing appreciation of China’s support and assistance to Samoa over the years.

Noting that bilateral cultural exchanges are close, Tuilaepa said the number of Samoan students studying in China has increased year on year.

Moreover, Tuilaepa said the Belt and Road Initiative has a positive effect on promoting trade, tourism and culture, expecting to sign a memorandum of understanding on cooperation with China and build a closer partnership between the two countries.

After the talks, the two leaders watched the signing of several cooperation documents between the two sides.

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