Tonga, China vow to deepen political mutual trust, cooperation

2022-06-01 08:31:17Xinhua Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (R) holds talks with Tongan Foreign Minister Fekitamoeloa 'Utoikamanu, in Nuku'alofa, Tonga, May 31, 2022. (Xinhua)

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (R) holds talks with Tongan Foreign Minister Fekitamoeloa 'Utoikamanu, in Nuku'alofa, Tonga, May 31, 2022. (Xinhua)

Tonga and China pledged on Tuesday to deepen their political mutual trust and promote cooperation in various fields as well as cultural and people-to-people exchanges.

When meeting with Tongan Foreign Minister Fekitamoeloa 'Utoikamanu, visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the two sides should strengthen coordination to implement the important consensus reached between leaders of the two countries, give full play to their cooperation to facilitate Tonga's post-disaster reconstruction and economic development.

Tonga was badly hit by devastating volcanic eruptions and an ensuing tsunami in January 2022.

The two countries have respected and supported each other, and extended a helping hand when the other side encountered difficulties and challenges, Wang said, noting that China supports Tonga in safeguarding its sovereignty, security and development interests, as well as in realizing development and revitalization and playing an active role in regional and international affairs.

Calling China Tonga's long-term key partner, 'Utoikamanu said since the establishment of diplomatic ties, China has been supporting and helping Tonga, which boosted Tonga's confidence in its anti-COVID-19 fight and post-disaster reconstruction.

Tonga will stick to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and continue to firmly adhere to the one-China policy, she said, adding that Tonga will continue the mutual respect, trust and support with China, and further advance its strategic partnership with China.

Tonga will actively participate in the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative, she added.

The two sides also exchanged views on China's cooperation with Pacific island countries, and agreed to speed up the implementation of the results of the just-concluded second China-Pacific Island Countries Foreign Ministers' Meeting.

Through sufficient consultation based on equality, the foreign ministers' meeting has achieved a new consensus over how to cope with the complicated and changeable international and regional situation, taking a new stride on advancing mutual trust and cooperation between China and Pacific island countries as a whole, Wang said.

He noted that China has released its Position Paper on Mutual Respect and Common Development with Pacific Island Countries, and put forward a new vision and proposals for further bilateral cooperation, so as to better respond to the expectations of the island countries.

China is willing to further build up consensus and form synergy with the island countries to realize common development and prosperity, he added.

Wang stressed that China and South Pacific island countries are all developing countries and share broad consensus, similar concerns and common missions.

He rejected a recent allegation by some people that China will seek military presence in South Pacific island countries, saying it's complete disinformation. He stressed that China has no intention of competing with anyone, let alone vying for geopolitical interests or creating a so-called "sphere of influence".

China stands for win-win cooperation and equal treatment of all countries, and is willing to establish and develop friendly relations with them, Wang said.

He noted that China supports democratized international relations, multilateralism and the core status of the United Nations, and opposes unilateral bullying, a colonialist mindset and domineering over small and medium-sized countries.

China has offered its solid support for island countries in developing their economy, improving their livelihood and safeguarding their stability, Wang said, adding that China is ready to cooperate and make joint efforts with all countries willing to support the island countries in accelerating their development.

Referring to an ancient Chinese poem that reads "a bosom friend afar brings a distant land near," 'Utoikamanu said Tonga will be "an Island of Friendship" for China forever, and Wang responded by saying that China will remain a true and trust-worthy friend for Tonga and other island countries.


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