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BEIJING, China (September 10, 2002 – Xinhua)--- Chinese Vice Premier Qian Qichen met here Tuesday with W. Noel Levi, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

Qian congratulated Levi on the opening of the Forum's trade representative office in China.

He said as the most important inter-governmental organization in the Pacific region, the Forum had played a significant role in promoting regional cooperation.

China attached importance to developing friendly cooperation with the Forum and its members, Qian said, adding with joint efforts from both sides cooperation between them had broadened in various spheres in recent years.

The vice premier also pledged China's willingness to further improve its cooperation with the Forum on the basis of the "one China" principle.

Levi thanked China for allowing the setting up of the representative office, saying it signaled progress in relations between the two sides and would boost trade and investment cooperation between China and Pacific countries.

On the Taiwan issue, he said the Forum understood China's position and would properly handle problems related to Taiwan.

He said during his term he would try his best to promote cooperation between the Forum and China.

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