China attaches importance to its relations with the Cook Islands and would like to further the bilateral relationship, said Premier Wen Jiabao Wednesday during his talks with Prime Minister Robert Woonton of the Cook Islands.
Premier Wen set forth a four-point proposal, which is to enhance governmental and non-government contact, to safeguard the common interests of the two countries, to explore more areas for cooperation on agriculture, fishery, and tourism, and to keep closer consultations and coordination in dealing with south-Pacific affairs.
Wen said that China and the Cook Islands have advocated that all nations, big or small, are equal since the two countries forged diplomatic ties in 1997.
Wen said that the leaders of the two countries have maintained contact, and mutual understanding and friendship have been increasingly promoted, and the two countries have also gained mutual benefit through trade cooperation.
China has provided the Cook Islands with assistance within its capacity and gained economic and social benefit from it, he said.
Wen expressed appreciation for the commitment of the Cook Islands to one-China policy.
On China's policy towards the South-Pacific region, Wen said that China supports the south-Pacific island countries' reasonable concern on sustainable development, globalization, and nuclear wastes transportation.
He also said that China is ready to enhance friendly relations with all south-Pacific nations including the Cook Islands, and the organizations in this region, and will make joint efforts to develop the regional economy, safeguard peace and protect resources of the region.
Prime Minister Woonton said he is deeply touched by China's equal treatment to such a small country as the Cook Islands. The two countries and their people have supported each other and kept close cooperation since the Cook Islands forged diplomatic ties with China seven years ago.
He reaffirmed that the government of the Cook Islands adheres to the one-China policy, and will continue to work for the friendly and cooperative relations with China.
After the talks, the two sides signed an economic and technological cooperation agreement.