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Li Keqiang Holds Talks with Prime Minister Peter O'Neill of Papua New Guinea, Emphasizing Better Alignment of Development Strategies and Comprehensive Promotion of Practical Cooperation

On the afternoon of July 6, 2016, Premier Li Keqiang held talks at the Great Hall of the People with Prime Minister Peter O'Neill of Papua New Guinea, who was paying an official visit to China.

Peter O'Neill first extended his condolences over the flood striking some regions in southern China, saying that he believes the Chinese government and people will defeat the disaster at an early date.

Li Keqiang appreciated Peter O'Neil's condolences and said that some areas of China are now sparing no efforts in combating the flood and providing disaster relief, and people's life and safety will be safeguarded with the utmost efforts.

Li Keqiang noted that since the establishment of diplomatic relationship between China and Papua New Guinea 40 years ago, bilateral relations have achieved significant development and the two sides have formed a strategic partnership featuring mutual respect and common development. The Chinese side respects and supports Papua New Guinea's independent choice of a development path in line with its own national conditions, and stands ready to continue to consolidate political mutual trust, increase exchanges at all levels and in various areas and focus on expanding practical cooperation, so as to constantly inject new impetus into bilateral relations.

Li Keqiang pointed out that China and Papua New Guinea are highly complementary in economy and enjoy great potential in mutually beneficial cooperation. We are willing to align development strategies with Papua New Guinea, boost cooperation in production capacity, expand mutually beneficial cooperation in fields including agriculture, forestry, fishery, energy, resources, transportation, telecommunications and infrastructure construction, further expand two-way trade and enhance exchanges in technology and talent training as well as others. We hope that the two countries will start negotiation and signing for a bilateral Free Trade Agreement as soon as possible.

Li Keqiang stressed that China is willing to join hands with Papua New Guinea to strengthen coordination and cooperation under multilateral mechanisms including the United Nations, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the ASEAN Regional Forum and the Pacific Islands Forum, and the South-South cooperation framework, so as to safeguard the common interests of developing countries.

Peter O'Neill expressed that since Papua New Guinea established diplomatic relations with China, bilateral relations and cooperation in all fields have developed vigorously. As an important cooperative partner of Papua New Guinea, China plays a significant role in Asia-Pacific regional affairs. Papua New Guinea is willing to join hands with China to strengthen cooperation in various fields such as energy, tourism, aviation, finance, and education as well as within multilateral frameworks such as the APEC, so as to become the gateway for cooperation between China and countries in the South-Pacific region.

Before the talks, Li Keqiang held a welcome ceremony for Peter O'Neill at the square outside the East Gate of the Great Hall of the People. Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Luo Fuhe and others attended the ceremony.

After the talks, Li Keqiang and Peter O'Neill witnessed the signing of several bilateral cooperation documents in such fields as production capacity, economy and trade, aviation and economic technology.

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