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Pacific Islands – China cooperation strengthened by Forum Delegation

Suva, Fiji:The Pacific Islands Forum delegation to China, led by Secretary General Dame Meg Taylor, has returned after successful meetings, 20-25 March, pursuing regional cooperation with the Chinese Government and the key South China province of Guangdong, as well as promoting oceans sustainable development at the prestigious Boao Forum for Asia.

The Secretary General met with the Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi, and discussed the strong and longstanding relations between Pacific Island Countries and China.  The Foreign Minister reiterated China’s commitment to working with the Pacific Islands Forum on important issues such as climate change and support for economic development.  Mr Wang said he would welcome Pacific Islands Countries taking up the opportunitiesoffered by China’s Belt and Road Initiative and people to people cooperation.

“We have a long history of people to people links and China is an important partner for the Pacific Islands”, said Dame Meg Taylor.

In a meeting with the Director of China’s State Oceanic Administration, Wang Hong, it was agreed to cooperate in developing practical projects for the development of sustainable fisheries and aquaculture.

The President of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Jin Liqun, told the delegation that he encouraged Pacific Island Countries to join the new multilateral financial institution to pursue economic development that does not leave any country behind.

The delegation travelled to the key South China province of Guangdong, with strong cultural and business ties to the Pacific Islands.  In its capital, Guangzhou, the delegation met with leaders of key agencies of the Guangdong Provincial Government and proposed a framework cooperation agreement for more regular dialogue, exchange and programmes to strengthen economic, education, cultural and other ties, to be developed this year.

At the prestigious Boao Forum for Asia, attended by government and business leaders from across the region, Deputy Secretary General Andie Fong Toy spoke on the need for international and regional cooperation for the sustainable development of our ocean and its resources.

Pacific Islands Trade and Investment Commissioner in China, David Morris, said “the visit of the Secretary General and delegation confirmed we can build stronger friendship and cooperation with China for mutual benefit.  By working together we can improve outcomes in fisheries, tourism, infrastructure investment, education, training and other areas.”

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