China, Solomon Islands reach eight-point consensus


Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his counterpart Solomon Islands' Jeremiah Manele attend a press conference in Honiara on May 26, 2022. - AFP

HONIARA (Xinhua): China and the Solomon Islands reached a series of important consensuses after friendly, in-depth and productive communication on deepening bilateral mutually-beneficial cooperation, visiting Chinese State CouncilLor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Thursday (May 26).

Wang expounded on the consensus when meeting the press jointly with Solomon Islands Foreign Minister Jeremiah Manele.

Firstly, both sides agreed to jointly cement the political foundation of China-Solomon Islands relations, firmly support each other's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and support each other in safeguarding their core interests and their choice of development path.

China appreciates the Solomon Islands adhering to the one-China principle and pursuing a friendly policy toward China.

Secondly, both sides agreed to jointly build the Belt and Road Initiative, enhance the synergy of the two countries' development strategies and tap the potential of pragmatic cooperation.

China supports the Solomon Islands in giving full play to its comparative advantages and accelerating development and revitalisation, Wang said.

China will take earnest measures to facilitate two-way trade and investment, expand the Solomon Islands' export of competitive products to China and support Chinese enterprises in investing in the Solomon Islands, he added.

China will grant zero-tariff treatment on 98 per cent of taxable items the Solomon Islands exports to China.

Thirdly, both sides agreed to jointly implement the China-proposed Global Development Initiative.

China will support the reconstruction of the capital city of Honiara, well implement China-aided projects including the Stadium Project for the 2023 Pacific Games, and carry out more projects to improve people's wellbeing.

Wang said China fully supports the Solomon Islands' fight against the Covid-19 pandemic until it wins the battle ultimately.

Fourthly, both sides agreed to jointly foster a secure and stable environment, as security is a prerequisite for development.

China firmly supports the Solomon Islands government's efforts to maintain long-term domestic stability, and will continue to conduct law enforcement and security cooperation with the Solomon Islands and help it strengthen the police capacity building in accordance with its needs and at its request.

Fifthly, both sides agreed to jointly promote connectivity. They signed an agreement on mutual visa exemption, and reached consensus on cooperation in civil aviation, which will provide greater convenience for bilateral personnel exchanges.

Sixthly, both sides agreed to jointly address climate change. China will provide all necessary support and assistance to the Solomon Islands to enhance its capacity to cope with climate change. The two sides will strengthen cooperation in marine protection, disaster prevention and mitigation, emergency response and blue economy.

Seventhly, both sides agreed to jointly promote sub-national exchanges. As Jiangmen city in China's Guangdong Province and Honiara established sister-city relations, the two sides should give full play to the characteristics and advantages of sub-national exchanges, encourage more provinces and cities of the two countries to foster closer relations and stimulate the vitality of sub-national, people-to-people exchanges.

Eighthly, both sides agreed to jointly defend the interests of developing countries. The two sides will continue to maintain close communication and cooperation in multilateral mechanisms including the United Nations, oppose zero-sum games, bullying, coercion and interference in internal affairs, advocate and practice true multilateralism, uphold the international system with the United Nations at its core, and safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries.

Wang wrapped up his visit to the Solomon Islands on the first leg of his tour to the Pacific island countries, which will also take him to Kiribati, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea, as well as Timor-Leste.

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