Closer ties between China and PNG

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PRESIDENT Xi Jinping says Papua New Guinea is “truly a land of great promise”, endowed with abundant natural resources.
“In recent years, thanks to the leadership of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, the great work of the Government, and the industrious and enterprising people of the country, PNG has thrived in national development, and its society has taken on a new look,” he said.
President Xi arrives today for his first State visit to the country, before he attends the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Chief Executive Officers’ Summit on Saturday and the Leaders’ Summit on Sunday. He said PNG was China’s largest trading partner in the region, while China was the biggest foreign investor and project contractor in this country.
“I look forward to working with your leaders to cement mutual trust, expand practical cooperation, and increase people-to-people exchanges in order to take our bilateral ties to a new level,” he said.
President Xi said the rapid growth of the China-PNG relations “is an epitome of China’s overall relations with Pacific Islands countries”.
“The Chinese often say: ‘Distance cannot separate true friends who remain close even when thousands of miles apart.’ The vast Pacific Ocean is indeed a bond between China and Pacific Islands countries.”
Xi said China would stand firm with Pacific Islands countries and all other developing countries.
“The relations between China and Pacific Islands countries are now better than ever and face important opportunities of development,” he said.
“China will work with Pacific Islands countries to brave the wind and waves and set sail for a brighter future of our relations.”