Premier Li meets Kiribati President

BEIJING: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met with Kiribati’s President Taneti Mamau here Monday and both sides expressed the willingness to enhance bilateral cooperation. Li said the resumption of diplomatic relations between China and Kiribati laid the political foundation for bilateral ties and created opportunities for all-round cooperation. “China attaches great importance to the development of China-Kiribati relations.” China has always held that all countries, both big or small, are equal, said Li. He said China supports Kiribati in choosing a development path that suits its national conditions and its efforts to develop its economy and improve people’s livelihood, adding that China stands ready to provide assistance to Kiribati within its capacity. China is willing to maintain close high-level contact with Kiribati, boost political mutual trust, expand mutually- beneficial cooperation and jointly push forward the positive and steady development of bilateral ties, Li said. Kiribati boasts bountiful fishery resources while Chinese consumers have fast-growing demands for seafood. “There is great potential for bilateral cooperation,” said Li. “China is willing to enhance cooperation in pelagic fishing with Kiribati to realize win-win cooperation.” China supports Chinese enterprises in conducting cooperation with Kiribati based on market and commercial principles, Li said. He said China attaches great importance to the special concerns of Pacific island countries including Kiribati on climate change and is ready to cooperate with Kiribati to address climate change under the framework of South-South cooperation and in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. Mamau spoke highly of the fruitful results of bilateral cooperation achieved since the resumption of diplomatic ties last year. He hailed China’s constructive role in international affairs and its contribution to coping with climate change. Expressing Kiribati’s appreciation for China’s assistance, Mamau said his country welcomes Chinese enterprises to invest in Kiribati and is willing to enhance cooperation with China in areas such as economy and trade, fishery, agriculture, education, healthcare and people-to-people exchanges. Mamau is paying a state visit to China from Jan. 4 to 11. – The Daily Mail-China Daily News exchange item