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Xi Jinping Holds Talks with King Tupou VI of Tonga The Two Heads of State Agree to Push China-Tonga Strategic Partnership for New and Greater Development

On March 1, 2018, President Xi Jinping held talks with King Tupou VI of Tonga at the Great Hall of the People. The two heads of state agreed to push China-Tonga strategic partnership for new and greater development at a new starting point in history.

Xi Jinping welcomed King Tupou VI to pay a state visit to China on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries and conveyed his sincere condolences to Tonga over the recent damage it had suffered from a severe cyclone. Xi Jinping pointed out that King Tupou VI came to China in the capacity of foreign and defense minister 20 years ago to sign the Joint Communique between China and Tonga on Establishing Diplomatic Relations and made historic contributions to establishing and developing China-Tonga relations. It is hoped that the royal family of Tonga would continuously play a positive role in advancing the development of China-Tonga relations.

Xi Jinping stressed that China and the Pacific Island countries, including Tonga are good friends and good partners with the same fate, common destiny and shared development. It is put forward at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) that China will promote the building of a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice, and win-win cooperation and the building of a community with a shared future for mankind. The Congress stressed that China will adhere to the correct viewpoint of righteousness and benefit and the principles of sincerity, real results, affinity, and good faith, and strengthen solidarity and cooperation with other developing countries. The concepts and principles mentioned above will open up broader prospects for China-Tonga relations and bilateral cooperation.

Xi Jinping pointed out that China and Tonga should reinforce exchanges at high level and across various levels, increase political mutual trust as well as continue supporting and understanding each other on issues concerning respective sovereignty, territorial integrity and national dignity. Both countries should expand dialogue, exchanges and cooperation between government departments and legislative bodies, deeply tap potential, actively expand practical cooperation in various areas and jointly advance cooperation under the "Belt and Road" framework, in a bid to achieve win-win and shared development. China knows well that Tonga, as a small developing island country, faces special challenges in its economic and social development. China is willing to continue providing Tonga with economic and technological assistance within its capability without attaching any political conditions. Instead of unilaterally offering assistance and simply providing the "blood-transfusion" mode of aid, which is like giving the country fish, China teaches Tonga "how to fish". China would fulfill all the promises it has made to the letter to let local people gain more sense of fulfillment from China-Tonga cooperation. China is ready to enhance South-South cooperation on climate change with Tonga and intensify exchanges and cooperation with Pacific Island countries.

Tupou VI congratulated on the successful convening of the 19th CPC National Congress last year, and expressed that President Xi Jinping is a visionary and wise leader. Tupou VI believed that China would score even greater achievements under President Xi Jinping's leadership. Tonga attaches great importance to developing friendly relations with China, sincerely appreciates the long-term and precious support and assistance provided by the Chinese government and people for the country's economic and social construction, and also thanks China for providing disaster relief assistance immediately after Tonga was hit by a recent cyclone. The country agrees with China on the important proposition to build a new type of international relations and stands ready to make joint efforts with the Chinese side to build a community with a shared future for mankind. Tonga firmly adheres to the one-China policy, and stands ready to intensify friendly cooperation with China in such fields as trade, infrastructure construction and tourism as well as under the "Belt and Road" framework. It is hoped that China could help Tonga to achieve greater development and address the challenges posed by climate change. Tonga supports the deepening of cooperation between Pacific Island countries and China.

After the talks, the two heads of state jointly witnessed the signing of bilateral cooperation documents in such fields as economic and technological cooperation, human resources development and education. Both sides also issued the Joint Press Communique between the People's Republic of China and the Kingdom of Tonga.

Prior to the talks, Xi Jinping held a welcoming ceremony for Tupou VI at the North Hall of the Great Hall of the People. President Xi Jinping's wife Mme. Peng Liyuan, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and State Councilor Yang Jiechi, Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Zhang Ping, Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Chen Xiaoguang and others were present.

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