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Hu Jintao Meets with Tongan Prime Minister Sevele

2007/04/27

On the afternoon of April 27, 2007, Chinese President Hu Jintao met with Tongan Prime Minister Feleti Vaka'uta Sevele at the Great Hall of the People. Hu said bilateral relations have witnessed sound and smooth development based on mutual respect, equality and reciprocity since the two countries forged diplomatic ties in the 1990s. Both sides have conducted frequent high-level exchanges and built up political trust and the cooperation in trade, culture, education and health has been fruitful, said Hu. The two countries have also maintained coordination in international and regional multilateral organizations such as the United Nations, World Health Organization and Pacific Islands Forum, Hu added. King George Tupou V has put forward the "Look East" Policy after ascending the throne, which shows that the Tongan royal family attaches importance to developing ties with China. China highly appreciates the policy, Hu said, adding that the Chinese government also gives top priority to ties with Tonga and is ready to work with the Tongan royal family and government to further strengthen high-level exchanges, expand cooperation in all areas and promote sound and steady development of friendly cooperative ties for the benefit of both countries and their peoples.

Sevele said the two countries enjoy sincere friendship and China's assistance plays an important role in Tonga's economic reconstruction. Tonga cherishes ties with China and has actively implemented the "Look East" Policy, he said, stressing Tonga's adherence to the one-China policy and opposition to "Taiwan independence". Tonga is ready to strengthen exchanges at all levels with China, build up understanding and friendship between the two peoples and deepen pragmatic cooperation in all areas, so as to push for continued, in-depth development of the existing friendly cooperative ties between the two countries, said Sevele.

Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and other officials attended the meeting.

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