China will strive to strengthen exchanges and cooperation on an equal footing with Samoa and other South Pacific island nations, a senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC) said in Apia Tuesday.
Li Changchun, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, made the remarks when meeting with Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi.
China has always placed importance on strengthening solidarity and cooperation with all other developing countries, said Li, who is in Apia for a three-day goodwill visit to Samoa.
China will continue to pursue the principle of treating all countries, large or small, as equals and strive to enhance friendly exchanges and mutually beneficial cooperation with Samoa and other South Pacific island nations, added Li.
Li said that China will continue to provide support within its capability for Samoa's economic and social development.
To this end, China is ready to have even closer high-level exchanges with Samoa to reinforce the political basis of bilateral relations.
Li said China is also willing to deepen economic cooperation and expand trade with Samoa. Meanwhile, China will step up exchanges with Samoa in such fields as culture, education, sports, public health and tourism.
Li said the two countries should work hard to implement the consensus reached by their leaders and develop bilateral links to create a model for the cooperation between China and South Pacific island nations.
Li also expressed appreciation to Samoa for its long-term adherence to the one-China policy and its support for China's reunification.
Tuilaepa said that since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1975, frequent exchanges on all levels have helped deepen mutual understanding and promote friendship between the two peoples.
He reiterated that Samoa will stick to the one-China policy and work hard to achieve greater results in bilateral cooperation.
After the meeting, Li and Tuilaepa witnessed the signing of an agreement on economic and technological cooperation between the two countries.
Later in the day, Li and Tuilaepa attended the completion and handover ceremony of a sports complex in Apia. The sports complex was constructed with China's aid and will be used as the main venue for the South Pacific Games to be held in Samoa in August.
At the ceremony, Li said China is glad to have provided some support to Samoa to host the games.
He expressed the wish that the sports facilities will help promote athletic activities and benefit the people of Samoa and the South Pacific region.
Li said Samoa is a trust-worthy friend and cooperative partner of China in the South Pacific region. China will take concrete measures to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation with Samoa to bring benefits to the two peoples.
Tuilaepa thanked China for its long-term assistance. Local athletes in Apia performed a 100-meter sprint in the newly completed stadium.
Samoa is the last leg of Li's trip to Latin America and the South Pacific. Li will conclude his visit and fly home Wednesday.