President Hu Jintao Meets Visiting Fijian President
On the afternoon of September 3, 2003, President Hu Jintao met with visiting Fijian President Ratu Josefa Iloilovato Iluivuda at the Great Hall of the People, during which they talked on good terms about bilateral relations and issues of mutual concern.
Extending warm welcome to Iloilovato Iluivuda, Hu said China and Fiji had a long history of friendly intercourse, and bilateral ties had recorded great advances particularly after they forged diplomatic links in 1975. He noted that there had been frequent exchange of visits between the leaders of the two countries and bilateral cooperation in economy and trade, culture and education had expanded and yielded notable results. He acknowledged that Fiji had become China's second largest trade partner in the south Pacific region, adding that the two countries had supported each other in regional and international affairs.
Hu expounded on the Chinese government's principled position on the question of Taiwan and expressed appreciation for Fiji's adherence to the one-China policy. He went on to say that the Chinese government attached great importance to its relations with Fiji and stood ready to further implement the principles and tasks set forth in the joint statement signed by the two countries, enhance friendship and augment cooperation so as to promote the long-term stable and all-round development of China-Fiji ties.
On China's relations with the south Pacific countries, Hu noted that the consolidating of friendly relations with countries in the south Pacific region was an important component of China's foreign policy. He said China supported the efforts of south Pacific countries to develop their economies and safeguard their just rights and interests in the spirits of solidarity, and was ready to increase cooperation with these countries to promote economic globalization featuring sustainable development and common prosperity.
President Iloilovato Iluivuda said the friendship between Fiji and China dated back to two centuries ago, and that many Chinese made their livelihoods in Fiji and brought knowledge about farming, fishing and management, contributing to the development of Fiji. He said that the Fijian people would always remember the friendly sentiments cherished by the Chinese people towards them.
He reaffirmed the adherence of the Fijian government to the one-China policy, adding that this would not change in any way. He expressed his gratitude for the genuine, selfless aid of the Chinese government and people to Fiji. He said that the Fijian side would work alongside China to implement the cooperation projects to benefit the Fijian people.
After the meeting, the two leaders presided over the signing ceremony of an agreement on bilateral economic and technological cooperation.