At the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Qiang, Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands Manasseh Sogavare will pay an official visit to China from July 9 to 15, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin announced on Thursday. This is Sogavare's second visit to China in four years, and an expert said that it indicates sustainable and mature bilateral relations between China and the Solomon Islands.
Prime Minister Sogavare's upcoming visit to China will provide new impetus for further growth of bilateral relations, Wang said on Thursday.
The relations between China and the Solomon Islands have grown rapidly since the two countries established diplomatic relations, producing fruitful results that have benefited the two peoples and contributed to peace, stability and development in the region, Wang said.
China stands ready to work with the Solomon Islands and take this visit as an opportunity to deepen political mutual trust, expand practical cooperation and enhance cultural and people-to-people exchanges, so as to "bring the bilateral relations to a new level," Wang noted.
Prime Minister Sogavare's visit shows the Solomon Islands' strategic clarity and political wisdom despite facing economic and political pressure from the US and other Western countries, Chen Hong, executive director of the Asia Pacific Studies Center at East China Normal University, told the Global Times on Thursday.
It indicates "sustainable" and "mature" bilateral relations between China and the Solomon Islands, Chen said.
China faces challenges in the South Pacific, as Western countries with a Cold War mentality still treat the region as an "arena for strategic competition," Chen noted.
China still needs to strengthen and consolidate cooperation with Pacific Island countries, and it needs to seek cooperation in areas such as infrastructure, hospitals and schools, according to Chen.
During the visit, the leaders of the two countries will have in-depth exchanges of views on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of mutual interest. Besides Beijing, Sogavare will also visit East China's Jiangsu Province and South China's Guangdong Province, according to the Foreign Ministry.