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Chinese premier pledges to advance ties with Tonga


08:17, July 23, 2013

BEIJING, July 22 (Xinhua) -- Premier Li Keqiang pledged on Monday to advance the development of relations between China and Tonga.

Li made the pledge during a meeting with Tongan Prime Minister Siale'ataonga Tu'ivakano at the Great Hall of the People in downtown Beijing.

Tu'ivakano expressed condolences on behalf of the Tongan government and people for the victims of an earthquake that occurred in northwest China's Gansu Province on Monday morning.

Li thanked Tu'ivakano on behalf of China's government and people for his condolences.

He said China is making all-out efforts to search for those who went missing in the quake and reduce the losses it has caused.

China will ensure the safety of people in the quake zone and ensure that their basic needs are met, he added.

Li said bilateral relations have made great progress since both sides established diplomatic relations.

He said China is willing to expand communication with Tonga in all fields, strengthen cooperation in agriculture, fishery, new energy, tourism and international affairs and promote the development of bilateral ties.

Li briefed Tu'ivakano on China's economic development and reform efforts.

Li said the government focuses on advancing scientific development, improving people's welfare and coordinating steady economic growth, economic restructuring and reform.

He said China will continue to simplify administrative procedures and delegate powers to lower levels to invigorate the market, as well as carry out financial and fiscal reforms and make efforts to develop the real economy.

The sustainable and healthy development of China's economy will play an important role in advancing global economic revival, he said.

Tu'ivakano said Tonga attaches great importance to developing relations with China and is willing to expand comprehensive cooperation and enhance communication with China.

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