China’s Xi confirmed for Apec


By Helen Tarawa in Vietnam
Chinese President Xi Jinping is the first leader of the 21-member economies to confirm his attendance at next year’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) leaders’ summit in Port Moresby, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says.
O’Neill said China was an important development partner for Papua New Guinea and both countries have a long-standing relationship.
“We had an excellent relationship with the Chinese government and people of China and the business community in general,” O’Neill said.
“We value their continued support and investment in the country.
“Papua New Guinea was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relationship with China in 1975 that gives us a unique opportunity to engage meaningfully with China and we welcome the strong support that we are getting from China in Apec in the Apec process.
“We have a relationship that is still growing and we have lots of opportunities that we can work together well into the future.”
O’Neill said Papua New Guinea was part of China’s one-belt one-road initiative as being the last country in the Pacific to be included in the initiative.
“The continued infrastructure programme that the Chinese government has suggested is something that we look forward to working with well into the future,” O’Neill said.
Foreign Affairs Minister Rimbink Pato said a warm welcome would be awaiting the leaders of the 21 Apec economies when they come to PNG next year.