Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (left) meets with Samoa's Head of State Tuimalealiifano Sualauvi Vaaletoa II (center) on May 28, 2022. (PHOTO/FMPRC.GOV.CN)
APIA – Samoa and China agreed on Saturday to enhance unity and cooperation, jointly safeguard the legitimate rights of developing countries, and insist on true multilateralism.
While meeting with visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Samoa's Head of State Tuimalealiifano Sualauvi Vaaletoa II said Samoa and China have enjoyed strong and close relations with fruitful results yielded in mutually beneficial cooperation, demonstrating the importance of equality and mutual respect in dealing with the relations between countries.
Samoa hopes to maintain close high-level exchanges, deepen mutual understanding and expand pragmatic cooperation with China so as to benefit the people of the two countries, Samoa's Head of State Tuimalealiifano Sualauvi Vaaletoa II said
Samoa hopes to maintain close high-level exchanges, deepen mutual understanding and expand pragmatic cooperation with China so as to benefit the people of the two countries, Tuimalealiifano said.
ALSO READ: Beijing, Pacific island nations eye greater cooperation
For his part, Wang said China has embarked on a new journey toward the second centenary goal of fully building a modern socialist country and is now devoted to achieving common prosperity. China will work together with other developing countries to accelerate common development, safeguard fairness and justice, and build a community with a shared future for mankind.
He said this year marks the 60th anniversary of Samoa's independence, which is of great significance to its country, nation and people.
Noting that Samoa is one of the first Pacific island countries to establish diplomatic ties with China, Wang said since the establishment of diplomatic relations nearly half a century ago, the two sides have always respected each other and treated each other as equals.
Mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries has brought benefits to the Samoan people, he said, adding that the China-aided Faleolo International Airport and stadium for the 2019 Pacific Games have become local landmarks, and a cultural center in Samoa has injected new impetus into bilateral friendly exchanges.
After the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, China immediately provided Samoa with anti-epidemic supplies to help the country effectively control the pandemic, Wang said, adding that China will also provide Samoa with a new batch of rapid test kits.
READ MORE: Premier Li congratulates Samoa's new PM on assuming office
China is ready to continue to support Samoa in its fight against the pandemic until it wins the battle ultimately, he added.
Wang said as both developing countries, China and Samoa face the same development task. Under the current circumstance of unilateralism and hegemonic bullying, China is willing to consolidate unity and cooperation with developing countries including Samoa, jointly safeguard the legitimate rights of developing nations, and insist on true multilateralism.
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi speaks with Samoan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Fiame Naomi Mata'afa on May 28, 2022. (PHOTO/FMPRC.GOV.CN)
During the visit, Wang also met with Samoan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Fiame Naomi Mata'afa met, with both sides reaffirming commitment to the mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation.
Samoan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Fiame Naomi Mata'afa reaffirmed Samoa's steadfast commitment to the one-China principle as well as non-interference on the Taiwan question
During their talks, Fiame congratulated the Communist Party of China on its centennial last year and wished the 20th National Congress of the CPC a great success.
The prime minister said that she has paid many visits to China whose development path and people-centered concept she appreciates, and expressed hope that her country can conduct exchanges with China on the experiences on economic growth and poverty alleviation.
Meanwhile, she reaffirmed Samoa's steadfast commitment to the one-China principle as well as non-interference on the Taiwan question.
For his part, Wang congratulated the Pacific island nation on the 60th anniversary of its independence, and expressed appreciation for the development of friendship between China and Samoa over the past nearly half a century since their establishing diplomatic ties, and for Samoa having adhered to the one-China principle unswervingly and supported China safeguarding its core interests.
ALSO READ: China, Kiribati vow to enhance cooperation on BRI, climate
China has always advocated that all countries are equal regardless of their sizes and strengths, Wang said, noting that as the world's largest developing country, China has always stood on the side of the developing countries and worked to seek justice for smaller nations, Wang said.
China has no intention of competing with other countries, and has always opposed the zero-sum game, said Wang Yi, adding that China is willing to enhance communication with whichever country that cares for Pacific island nations to conduct more trilateral cooperation
He said developing countries need to strengthen unity amid the once-in-a-century changes.
China is willing to spare no effort in supporting developing countries, including Pacific island nations in speeding up their development and revitalization, Wang said, adding that, in doing so, China has never interfered in the internal affairs of any country, has never added political conditions, and has never sought geopolitical interests.
China has no intention of competing with other countries, and has always opposed the zero-sum game, said Wang, adding that China is willing to enhance communication with whichever country that cares for Pacific island nations, Australia and New Zealand in particular, to conduct more trilateral cooperation, giving full play to the parties' respective advantages, and based on respecting the island nations' will.
The pair, after the meeting, attended a signing ceremony of documents on economic, technical and cultural cooperation.
Samoa is the third leg of Wang's tour to the South Pacific island nations, which will also take him to Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea, as well as Timor-Leste. Before arriving in Apia, Wang visited the Solomon Islands and Kiribati.