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  Government of the Republic of Fiji

  Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    A Better Fiji through Excellence in Foreign Service

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Media Release

President Nailatikau Meets Chinese Counterpart

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SHENZHEN, China, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao expressed the belief here Friday that the visit by Fijian President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau to China will further advance China-Fiji friendly and cooperative relations.

Hu said China respects the independent choice of the route of development by the Fijian people and places importance on developing China-Fiji relations.

"China regards Fiji as a good friend and good partner in the Pacific islands region," Hu said.

Hu made the remarks as he met with Nailatikau here Friday afternoon.

Hu stressed that China has always held that regardless of their size, strength and wealth, all countries should respect and treat each other as equal members of the international community.

Hu expressed appreciation on Nailatikau for the importance he puts on developing relations with China.

Nailatikau is here to attend the opening ceremony of the 26th Summer Universiade to be held in this south China city of Shenzhen on Friday evening.

Hu pointed out that Fiji is an important country in the Pacific islands region. It is also one of the first Pacific island countries that established diplomatic links with China. Noting that both countries share time-honored friendship, Hu said bilateral links have seen fresh progress in recent years. He said the two sides trust and support each other in the political area, share complimentarity and common growth in the economic area and enjoy mutual respect and learn from each other in the area of culture. The two countries have carried out close cooperation on major regional and international issues and jointly safeguard the interests of developing countries, Hu said.

Nailatikau said since the two countries established diplomatic links in 1975, bilateral relations have withstood the test of time and made remarkable progress. He said Fiji places great importance on its relations with China.

He said Fiji is ready to work with China to strengthen dialogue and cooperation in all areas, including politics and economy, so as to advance bilateral relations in a continuous way.

Hu welcomed Nailatikau to China to attend the opening ceremony of the Shenzhen Universiade.

Nailatikau said it is a great honor for him to come to China again to attend the Universiade, to which he referred as minor Olympics. Noting that the Universiade to be held in Shenzhen over the next two weeks is a great celebration of the youth around the world, Nailatikau express the belief that the games will be a total success.

He reiterated that Fiji will adhere to the one-China police.

Hu expressed appreciation on the Fijian government for its firm adherence to the one-China policy.

Since the two countries established diplomatic links 36 years ago, China and Fiji have seen remarkable growth of bilateral relations. The two countries respect and treat each other as equals as they carried out fruitful cooperation in the areas of politics, economy, culture and education.

The two countries have maintained frequent contact between their leaders and high-level officials. President Nailatikau visited China in 2010 and attended the Shanghai Expo. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited Fiji in 2006, followed by Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping who visited the country in 2009.

China has been providing Fiji with economic and technological assistance within its own capacity, while Fiji lent support to China on issues of its core interests.

Fiji has become one of the destinations of overseas travel of Chinese citizens since 2004. It has also seen an increasing number of Chinese students studying in this South Pacific island nation.

Fiji hosted the First Ministerial Conference of the China-Pacific Island Countries Economic Development and Cooperation Forum in 2006. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and ministers from eight South Pacific island countries attended the land-breaking meeting.

(Source: Xinhuanet by Xinhua News Agency http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2011-08/12/c_131046058.htm)

(Photo caption: President Hu Jintao (R) meets with Fijian President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau in Shenzhen, a city of south China's Guangdong Province, Aug. 12, 2011. President Nailatikau is here to attend the opening ceremony of the 26th Summer Universiade to be held on Friday evening. (Xinhua/Li Tao))

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Chinese President Hu Jintao (4th R, front) meets with Fijian President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau (3rd L) in Shenzhen, a city of south China's Guangdong Province, Aug. 12, 2011. President Nailatikau is here to attend the opening ceremony of the 26th Summer Universiade to be held on Friday evening. (Xinhua/Li Tao)