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Premier Wen Jiabao Holds Talks with Tongan Prime Minister Sevele

2007/04/26

On April 26, 2007, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Tongan Prime Minister Feleti Vaka'uta Sevele held talks at the Great Hall of the People. Both sides made positive comments on the development of bilateral ties and hailed the fruitful cooperation between the two countries in all areas.

Wen said bilateral relations have been developing smoothly since the two countries forged diplomatic ties nine years ago and the two countries have always stuck to the principles of mutual respect, mutual benefit and common development in their cooperation. Wen urged both sides to strengthen cooperation in such fields as agriculture, fishery, tourism and human resources development, to consolidate and expand bilateral ties.

Over the years, China has provided sincere aid to Tonga for its economic and social development without any political conditions attached, Wen said. "The aid is simply aimed at strengthening Tonga's capability of independent development," Wen said, adding China is ready to continue to offer economic support within its available resources to Tonga.

Wen pointed out that China develops relations with Pacific island nations for the sake of maintaining regional stability, and promoting sustainable economic and social development. China respects the sovereignty of the Pacific island nations as well as the development road they choose for themselves, Wen said. He said China is ready to help these countries to develop economy, and work together with them to meet the UN Millennium Development Goals. China is a reliable and good friend of the Pacific island countries including Tonga, Wen said, vowing to support these countries' reasonable requests in developing and protecting oceanic resources and on the climate change issue, as well as their rights to take part in international affairs on an equal footing.

Sevele said the two countries have established strong relations. He appreciated China's precious support and assistance for Tonga's economic and social development, adding his country will strengthen exchanges with China and enhance cooperation on agriculture, fishery, tourism, education and culture and within the framework of China-Pacific Island Countries Economic Development and Cooperation Forum. He reiterated the Tongan government will firmly adhere to the one-China policy and support China's grand cause of peaceful reunification.

Following the talks, the two attended a signing ceremony of a cooperation agreement on medical health.

Prior to the talks, Wen held a welcoming ceremony for Sevele's visit at the North Hall of the Great Hall of the People. Vice Chairman of the Central Committee of Jiusan Society Shao Hong, Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, Minister of Agriculture Sun Zhengcai, Chinese Ambassador to Tonga Hu Yeshun and other officials attended the ceremony.

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